By Joanita Mbabazi
Members of parliament task the 42 officials who solicited for 6 billion for winning the tax tribunal case in London involving two oil companies that is Tullow Oil and heritage oil companies.
Some of the officials may even find themselves being jailed because the Inspector General of government as one of the recommendations made by the Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises ( COSASE) is for the IGG to investigate the element where some officials violated the law especially the Uganda Revenue Authority Act and the Public Finance Managemnet Act which stipulates that all public funds to be spent, these have to be appropriated and approved by parliament for expenditure which was not the case for the 6 billion reward.
Having interfaced with all the 42 beneficiaries of the 6billion cash reward, according to the chairperson of COSASE Honorable Abdu Katuntu Member of Parliament Bugweri County, all these denied for having solicited for this money but thus admitted it was not illegally for them to demand for a reward for they had won the tax tribunal case and hence they demanded for reward though the then Ali Sekatawa an officer then in URA admitted clearly that this was wrong to solist money to be rewarded.
According to Katuntu when they meet his Excellency the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni though he told them whether they solicited for the reward or not gave them this money but however still admitted that this was wrong and told the committee members that he was misguided but will pay this money.
However, the committee noted that whether the president was going to pay this money, these officials illegally solicited for the reward because parliament for 7 consecutive financial years had to look for this money worth 56 billion to facilitate the officials who were going to participate in the tax tribunal case against the two oil companies Tullow and heritage Oil companies.
Also, notably the committee found that the team had not collected the costs in reward for winning the tax tribunal case worth 4 million dollars but they hurriedly rushed to solicit for the reward and thus also tasked the government to collect this money.
But according to the Female National Youth Member of Parliament Adeke Anna these officials need to apologise the country because they expressed a lot of greed to demand for a reward at the expense of tax payer’s money yet they were facilitated to go and arbitrate the tax tribunal case and hence they were being paid salary and these are the same officials who take home fat salaries at the end of the month.
The most embarrassing moment that the committee found out was that the then Minister of Energy honorable Saida Bumba now the chairperson of the National Economy committee in parliament, signed off production oil agreements without reading them the through.
To the initiators of the reward this was a great opportunity especially the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority Doris Akol, who framed the reward of 6 billion to the president for their efforts in arbitrating the tax tribunal case and all this was done in the absence of the Minister who was luckily excluded from this money.
According to honorable Ibrahim Kassozi mp Makindye west, if the president was misled then he should have ordered already for the sucking of these individuals.
“One of the beneficiaries is a member of parliament Honorable Robina Rwakojo, MP Gomba West who got 93 million and she has to set an example by refunding the money and where possible if the beneficiaries cannot refund this money most of their properties should be sold off to recover this money”, says honorable Mbwatekamwa Gaff MP Kasambya County.
Recommendations of the committee
The 42 beneficiaries have to refund the 6 billion shillings that was rewarded to them.
The IGG has to investigate some individuals especially who violated the law especially the Uganda Revenue act and the Public Finance Management Act.
The committee also recommended that the executive has to come up with a donations bill in 90 days because this law that guides on how donations and rewards must be given especially to public servants.
The Attorney General has also been tasked to collect the costs in reward worth 4million dollars by the International Arbitration Tribunal in London, because it was never collected by the officials that were involved in the arbitration case in London and the Attorney General must report back to parliament within 90 days.
Government should be keen while choosing ministers because some of these ministers end up committing the country through signing off bad deals on behalf of government because they do not read the through the agreements.
Among those who bagged off a lot of cash was the commissioner General URA Doris Akol, who got 242 million, Allen Kagina the executive Director of Uganda national Roads who also got 242 million, the then lawyer of URA Jenifer Musisi now currently she is the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority got 121 million, Peter Nyombi who by then was the government Attorney General got 246 million.
And the current Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi who by then was the Secretary General to the Treasury, got 108 million among others. For those employees who did the donkey work of photocopying papers and serving tea till late in the night bagged off 50 million each for this work they offered and when they appeared before the committee they were blatantly able to tell the committee that indeed this was blessing from God and they did not hesitate to receive the money.
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