Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and MPs Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) have agreed that the head of state refunds the Shs 6bn money given to officials as appreciation for winning an oil case.
The Presidential Press Unit (PPU) has blocked journalists from covering the meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and legislators on the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise (COSASE) that is investigating the controversial oil cash bonanza.
A group of parliamentary reporters had accompanied for the meeting at State House in Entebbe. However, the journalists were turned away by the President’s media team, saying the president was uncomfortable with media coverage. They were asked to board a van from parliament and head back to Kampala.
Don Wanyama, the President’s Press Secretary, says it was oversight to invite journalists for the meeting since the president is uncomfortable with the coverage of the meeting. He explained that they would issue a press statement after the meeting.
However, sources say that Museveni told the MPs that the motive of the handshake was to appreciate “patriotic civil servants” for defeating “international giants” in an oil case.
He reportedly distanced himself from the accusations that he flouted rules of procedure in handing out the handshake.
Museveni reportedly admitted that “it was wrong” for the money to have come from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) instead of State House.
The committee has been investigating that Shillings 6 billion bonus handed out to 42 public servants for their role in the arbitration of the of the Heritage oil case, which saw Uganda bag USD $ 400 million. Anita Among, the COSASE Vice Chairperson and Bukedea Woman MP, says they want to establish whether the president actually gave out the bonuses and why he did it among other things.
According to Among, the committee decided to meet the president because he is at the center of the oil cash bonus controversy.
The controversial handshake came to the limelight in January after it emerged that Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi had ordered URA Commissioner General Doris Akol to ensure that the Shs 6bn was paid in the current financial year.