The Member of Parliament representing Kalungu west Hon. Joseph Ssewungu has attacked the Presidential Handshake beneficiaries describing them as corrupt and unpatriotic.
Though the law provides and gives president unquestionable powers to award and donate to individuals and organizations, the legislator insists that it was uncalled for since they were executing the duties they are paid for which were even fully facilitated by the state.
He added that the beneficiaries were supposed to be offered certificates of appreciation not Tax payers that would be taken to other departments like Health, Works or Education.
However in response to his argument, one of the beneficiaries Council Ssekatawa insisted that the money was not stolen but offered to them for excellent performance the very Uganda cranes footballers were awarded after defeating Comoros.
In January this year, the Speaker asked the Committee on COSASE to investigate claims that the public officers solicited for a payment, honorarium, bonus or golden handshake totaling to Ushs 6 billion, contrary to standard practices of rewarding public officers. The Committee was also asked to investigate the basis used to determine the amounts of the bonus payment, including the full account of the role of each beneficiary in the court cases.
During their investigations, beneficiaries denied soliciting for the reward and told the Committee that it is common practice both in public and private sector governance to reward individuals for excellence.
Beneficiaries of the reward included Hon. Fred Ruhindi, Deputy Attorney General; Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa, who was Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development; Mrs. Allen Kagina, Commissioner General, URA; Mrs. Doris Akol, Commissioner Board Affairs and Rulings, URA; and Mrs. Jennifer Musisi, who was Commissioner Legal Services and Board Affairs, URA.
Others included: Ms. Harriet Lwabi, who was the Ag. Solicitor General; Mr. Christopher Gashirabake, the Director Legal Advisory Services in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Hon. Peter Nyombi, who was the Attorney General and Head of the Uganda Government Legal and Technical Team.