Yesterday Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa said NRM MPs had backtracked on the demands for explanations on circumstances under which Shs6bn was given to 42 government officials in whatr has come to be known as the Golden handshake.
The U-turn followed a caucus meeting held by at State House Entebbe in which the president reportedly explained that the actual amount shared among the officials was Shs3.5bn since the rest of it was lost in taxes.
However, today evening, the House has unanimously agreed to support the motion to have the Select Committees investigate the Sh6 bn oil cash scam, days after a one Eric Sabiiti withdrew the petition barring the House from the same.
The motion moved by Mbarara Municipality MP Michael Tusiime raises concerns and a number of perceived illegalities on the manner in which 42 government officials were given the money.
Tusiime alleges that the money was solicited by government officials already employed to undertake legal battles faced by government.
“The payment of the reward will demoralize other public servants who handle assignments and get nothing”, Hon. Tusiime says.
Hon. Katuntu added that this debate should be wider. “We must invest in the Oil and Gas sector if we are to achieve the middle income status”, he said.
In his support to the motion, Hon. Niwagaba said that for parliament to avoid the oil curse. He added that it is time for Parliament to assert itself & have a proper inquiry on oil revenues.
President Yoweri Museveni while meeting the NRM members of parliament defended the controversial giveaway of oil money to 42 senior government officials. He said this was given as a reward for winning a tax case. Museveni said that the giving out of the money did not contravene any local laws.