Brigadier Henry Tumukunde has accused Ugandan elites of being selfish with information about oil that they acquire through formal education and privileged access.
Tumukunde who was speaking at the former Ghanaian President John Kufour’s lecture at Makerere University on Friday said a class of elites have amassed a lot of information about oil.
Tumukunde said these elites have gone ahead to deliberately conceal this information from the public. He says this secretiveness is a recipe for turning this resource into a curse. He cited the oil production sharing agreements as an example.
He said the information known by technocrats of government, cabinet ministers and senior presidential advisors is not passed on to the rest of the country.
The statements come in the light of a continued demand to make oil production sharing agreements public for everybody to access.
Youth legislator Gerald Karuhanga told the fully packed room at Makerere Main Hall that the access to the oil production sharing agreements is very restrictive. He said to access the documents at parliament can only be done in the presence of a police officer and for only thirty minutes with no notes allowed to be taken.
In reply to Tumukunde, Amama Mbabazi, the prime minister said the basic facts about oil can be accessed by the internet and can be read there. He said oil production sharing agreements will be made public with time.
Oil activist groups have been pressuring the government to show the oil production sharing agreements and allow the public to review them.
Government last year made public the companies they had signed contracts with in the oil sector but declined to give details into the agreements citing ‘commercial interests’ as the reason for not disclosing the information.
Last month while relaunching anti-goverment protests, former Forum for Democratic Change president, retired Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye also said Ugandan elites are a selfish lot only waiting to come and share the spoils. He said the elites had failed to plan a future for the country.