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Ugandan Ruling Party Legislators Charged With Corruption

THREE legislators from Uganda’s ruling party have been charged with corruption for attempting to influence the budget of a state-funded rights body.

Corruption is widespread in Uganda, but it is uncommon for top officials, especially those aligned with long-serving President Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, to face prosecution.
The three legislators—Mutembuli, Paul Akamba, and Cissy Namujju Dionizia—were charged late on Wednesday at the High Court in Kampala. The charge-sheet accuses them of trying to persuade the chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to inflate the organisation’s 2024/25 (July-June) budget in exchange for 20 percent of the increased amount.

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‘Mutembuli, Akamba, and Dionizia … solicited an undue advantage … by asserting that they were able to exert improper influence over the decision-making of the budget committee of parliament of Uganda to increase the UHRC budget,’ the charge-sheet states.

All three legislators pleaded not guilty and were remanded to a maximum-security prison. Asuman Basalirwa, one of their lawyers, argued that the charges should not be considered severe and requested bail. Judge Joan Aciro scheduled their next court appearance for June 14 to rule on the bail application.
President Museveni recently stated that he had received intelligence reports indicating that some lawmakers were colluding with government officials to inflate departmental budgets in exchange for kickbacks.

The opposition has frequently criticised Museveni’s government for its reluctance to prosecute high-ranking officials for corruption, accusing it of prioritising political loyalty over financial accountability.

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