Select Committee Starts Probe into the Shs6bn Handshake Saga

Select Committee Starts Probe into the Shs6bn Handshake Saga

By Serestino Tusingwire

Parliament’s select committee led by Bugweri County MP, Abdul Katuntu has today kick-started on probing the payment of oil cash bonuses to government top shots.

Parliament in the last plenary session resolved to establish a select committee to go deep into the matter where 42 government officials doled out Shs6bn from the Sh824Bn.

This came on the heels of winning a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax against Tullow Oil Company in June 2015. The Sh6bn to top officials came as a reward for their role in facilitating the successful settlement of the case.

However, members of parliament and the general public disputed the so called ‘presidential handshake; and resolved that the matter be further investigated claiming that it was illegally done.

The Committee will therefore establish how the beneficiaries were selected, examine whether clear procedures were followed in the disbursement of the funds and scrutinize all supplementary requests and other budget allocations provided to facilitate public officers in the court processes in Uganda and abroad.

The committee has started with cross examining the Mbarara municipality MP Michael Tusiime who is the mover of the motion that called for a parliamentary probe into the payments.

It will also meet the seconders of the motion who include, among others, Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba, Usuk County Peter Ogwang, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among and Ajuri County MP Denis Hamson Obua.

Katuntu said that the committee will summon the head of public service John Mitala after meeting the legislators.

The committee has two months within which to probe and report back to parliament.