The National, Thursday 04th April, 2013
By JEFFREY ELAPA
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has been urged to stop parliamentarians from accessing public funds when they are facing election petitions in court.
Former Kagua-Erave MP Daniel Tulapi said it was not fair for MPs to access development funds when they were still facing the court of disputed returns.
He said there was a possibility that MPs could abuse the funds if they were given powers to use the funds to lure voters if there was a by-election or use the funds to pay for legal bills and witnesses.
He called on O’Neill to stop accounts to districts which had pending court cases such as Kagua-Erave where there were three election petitions.
He claimed that the district had already used K2.2 million of district development grants to allegedly pay cronies and witnesses through a consultant company.
This, however, was denied by MP James Lagea who said the district was given K2 million of the district support improvement grants just like all other 89 MPs, and not K2.2 million as alleged.
He said there were funds still available in the district treasury and he had used only K400,000 of the money.
He said the allegations were framed to spoil his reputation.
He said he was not a signatory to the account and could not dish out money.
He also does not have any power to pay such a big sum to a consultancy company because such funds would have to go through the provincial tender and supply board.
Lagea called on Tulapi to stop making false allegations against him.
He said the district administration was eligible to 10% of the funds.
He said part of it was used to pay for the administration’s official vehicle.