Stereotypes have been the order of the day portraying Members of Parliament as the poorest public servants because of the huge constituency responsibility that lies on their shoulders.
Despite bagging huge allowances and salary that totals to about Shs35m per month, some MPs remain poor and live a miserable life especially after leaving parliament.
However, there are some exceptional MPs who have defied the odds and amassed huge wealth and investments. Some of them came to Parliament already rich while other amassed wealth through the corridors of parliament.
The Insider profiles the top 10 richest MPs in the 10th Parliament.
Thomas Tayebwa is the MP for Ruhinda North County in Mitooma district, who came to parliament in 2016 when he was already a filthy rich man. Before joining Parliament, Tayebwa who is a trained lawyer and businessman is a businesss partner to another tycoon Caesar Augustine Mulenga, the founder of Mulenga Development Kingdom. Tayebwa who is also the chairman of Bayimba Cultural Foundation Board owns several companies including; SMS Empire Limited, Cholmart Investments, South Sudan, Gateway Associates Limited, Wandaz Products Limited among others. Tayebwa owns two residential homes in Mitooma and Kampala both valued at over Shs4bn.
John Chrysestom Muyingo
John Chrysestom Muyingo is state minister for Higher Education and MP for Bumunanika County in Luweero district. Muyingo is one of the richest politicians who has invested a fortune in education especially the Seeta High Schools where he mints millions of shillings.
Muyingo also opened up two primary sections under the name Seeta Junior School and also have a Kindergarten wing with two branches.
Sam Kutesa is the minister for Foreign Affairs and MP for Mawogola County in Sembabule district. He is one of the most powerful politicians who have amassed wealth. Kutesa, the former President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly has been in parliament since 1980 having defeated President Yoweri Museveni in the parliamentary election. In his entire career, Kutesa has been a politician and it is through this field that he has amassed lots of wealth. Kutesa owns Enhas, a ground-handling service at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, since the 1990s.
Recently, he was implicated in the bribe scam where he allegedly received $500,000 from a foreign investor.
In 2011, Kutesa was accused in a parliamentary investigation of receiving bribes as kickbacks from Irish oil firm Tullow Oil. Despite calls from MPs for him to resign along with the others accused, a lawyer, Severino Twinobusingye, managed to successfully sue the Attorney General and halt the proceedings and to block the calls for resignation.
Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu is one of the few rich opposition MPs who has also stayed in parliament since 2001. Katuntu has equally amassed lots of wealth from his profession as a lawyer and political positions. It is not surprising that he has called it quits for active politics in 2021.
Rebecca Kadaga is the Speaker of Parliament and Kamuli Woman Mp. She is one of the oldest MPs who has served since 1989. Whereas Kadaga’s investment remain elusive and hidden, she has also invested heavily in hotels and nearly all the posh hotels in Eastern Uganda are hers. In 2014, Museveni commissioned Kadaga’s Shs3bn Century Hotel in Kamuli district.
Wiliam Byaruhanga is the Attorney General and ex-officio. It is for his legal brilliance that Museveni appointed him minister and not for financial benefits because he is already such a filthy rich man. It is not a surprise that he has reportedly already told Museveni not to bring him back to cabinet so that he concentrates on building his empire. Byaruhanga is the owner of Kinyara Sugar Works Ltd, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Ltd, Vienna College Namugongo, and others.
Hillary Onek is the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees. Onek, also Lamwo County MP is one of the richest politicians who has invested in buildings and hotels. He is owner of the Bomah Hotel, a massive state of art hotel located in Gulu Municipality. The hotel-Bomah Hotel is a three star hotel and it is the biggest in Northern Uganda.
There is no doubt that Onek,68, has surely prepared for his retirement and now sees where his money is going.
Apparently, he is putting up another multimillion structure as an extension of this mega facility. Onek also has a similar hotel in Kitgum district.
Prior to his appointment as Disaster preparedness minister in 2013, Onek served as the Minister for Energy & Minerals, from 2009 to 2011. Before that, he also served as Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries from 2006 to 2009.
Dokolo South County MP Felix Okot Ogong is one of the richest MPs. Ogong who is an economist has been in parliament since 1996 and has since mastered the art of minting money. He owns Feliestar Buses and several radio stations including Voice of Lango that Museveni recently accused of decampaigning and depopularising the NRM government that he (Ogong) is part and parcel.
Yeri Ofwono Apollo is the MP for Tororo Municipality who came to Parliament in 2016. Yeri who does cross border trade is so rich and it is not a surprise that he has been able in influence politics in Tororo. Yeri has invested heavily in education and is owner of Victorious Educational Services and Special Plan Primary School.
Hellen Adoa is the MP for Serere District who ousted FDC’s stronghold Alice Alaso in the 2016 elections. Adoa is one of the few female MPs who are so rich and have invested heavily even before coming to parliament. Adoa has invested in education in Teso. She owns a fleet of schools including; Halcyon Foundation, Halcyon High School, Teso Primary School, Teso Health Centre, Toto Adoa Primary School, New York Primary School and Namilyango Hill View Primary School.