The leadership of Parliament has explained that Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammed Ssegirinya, also known on social media as Mr Update, cannot get support from the House to clear his medical bills because he left the country without prior notice.
Ssegirinya, who was flown to Europe for specialised treatment due to persistent stomach complaints, is reported to be struggling to clear his medical bills said to be about Shs80m.
But Parliament Communications Director Chris Obore on Monday, 21 August 2023, explained that the House has a procedure for those seeking treatment, which Ssegirinya did not follow.
“Parliament cannot neglect any MP when they have health complications. There is already insurance scheme for each member and immediate family,” Obore explained.
And for any treatment outside the country, he explained, Parliament only foots the medical bills upon clearance by the Medical Board as provided in law.
“For the case of Hon Segirinya, he travelled out of the country without Medical Board clearance, without notification to the Speaker and even Leader of the Opposition,” he said.
“It makes it hard for Parliament to process public funds for 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,” he added.
On Monday, a video emerged of Kampala Central MP Muhammed Nsereko in a phone conversation with Ssegirinya, where the latter said he was going to be made to wash clothes and utensils in Amsterdam where he is seeking treatment for failure to pay medical bills.
The video has since attracted public condemnation of Parliament.