By Davis Mugabi
The Parliament of Uganda has revealed that Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya was not cleared by the Medical Board prior to his travel abroad for treatment.
Ssegirinya appeared on social media days ago and said he had been abandoned by Parliament. He needs Shs 84 million to clear his medical bills, lest he do chores and wash bedsheets for the hospital until the bill is cleared.
“Parliament cannot neglect any MP when they have health complications. There is already an insurance plan for each member and their immediate family. However, for any treatment outside the country, parliament only foots the medical bills upon clearance by the Medical Board, as provided in law. In the case of Hon. Mohammed Segirinya, he traveled out of the country without Medical Board clearance and without notification to the Speaker or even the Leader of the Opposition. It makes it hard for parliament to process public funds in such a case. The handlers of Hon. Segirinya have been reaching out to parliament, and this procedure was explained to them. To go to social media to attract public sympathy while ignoring the law is not a good example to set. Indeed, Hon. Segirinya needs support, but the handlers must be mindful of the law when it comes to public funds,” Parliament’s Director of Communication, Chris Obore, said in a tweet Monday.
Obore explains that “Parliament money is public money, and public funds have a process of expenditure.”
“It’s not about how one feels but what laws govern public expenditure. I too feel for Hon. Segirinya, but public affairs are not handled based on personal feelings. On what basis do you want the Clerk to Parliament to release money for Hon. Segirinya when there is no clearance from the medical board?” he added.
According to Obore, “Even in medical treatment, there are procedures followed.”
“You guys engage the Medical Board. Parliament is ready to pay upon getting Medical Board clearance,” Obore responded to Ssegirinya’s sympathizers.