Speaker Kadaga Meets MPs Over Shs6bn Oil Money Saga
By Serestino Tusingwire
The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has today convened an abrupt meeting with a section of lawmakers to discuss the UGX6bn payment doled out to senior government officials. This came as a reward after URA won a court settlement of UGX824bn against the British oil firm, Tullow.
According to sources at parliament, the meeting started at 9:00am and will develop terms of reference for an oversight parliamentary committee which has been sanctioned to carry out a probe.
The task to probe the saga was given to Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises committee headed by the no nonsense man, Abdul Kantuntu.
Some the areas of investigation will be how the UGX6bn was shared by senior government officials, what was the criterion of selecting the recipients and whether this decision was legally backed.
It is not clear yet why such a staggering amount of money was paid to government officials who were dispensing their duties.
One of the other areas of concern is the officials paid only 15% of the taxes instead of 40% mandated by law.
The Ntungamo municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga says they want to have a common position before a motion on the matter is tabled next week on Tuesday.
In June 2015 a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between Uganda Revenue Authority and Tullow oil firm resulted into a settlement of UGX824bn. Uganda spent about ten billion shillings to hire an American law firm to pursue this case.
After the case settlement, some government top shots distributed among themselves Shs6bn which they claim it was only 1% and was legally given as a reward for their outstanding work.
Among the beneficiaries of the so called handshake include; Doris Akol, who is currently the URA Commissioner General; former Attorney General Peter Nyombi; the deceased ministry of finance permanent secretary, Chris Kassami; and the former Deputy Attorney General, Freddie Ruhindi. Others are KCCA executive director, Jeniffer Musisi, who previously served as the head of URA’s legal department, Lawrence Kiiza, a senior official in the ministry of Finance and the Solicitor General Francis Atoke.