VICTORIOUS: Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu

The Committee on State Agencies and State Enterprises (COSASE) will tomorrow start investigating the shillings 6 billion ‘presidential handshake’ awarded to 42 senior government officials.

Led by COSASE chairperson, Bugweri county MP Abdu Katuntu, the select committee members will investigate whether circumstances under which the officials got the money are in tandem with the set procedures.

The money is question is part of the US$434 million ‘saved’ following the conclusion of litigation involving the Uganda government and two oil prospecting companies, Heritage Oil and Gas and Tullow Oil.

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On January 10 Kadaga adjourned all parliamentary proceedings sine die over a separation of powers stand-off that followed a public spat between the Speaker and constitutional court Judge Steven Kavuma, after the latter issued an injunction, ordering Parliament not to debate the sharing out of Shs6 billion.

The matter that points adversely to the participation of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Commissioner General Doris Akol, also evoked the name of President Yoweri Museveni and has since caused a public outcry given that some key services in the country are wanting.

In the ensuing days Mr Museveni called a meeting of the NRM parliamentary caucus and reportedly told them he okayed the payout but on insistence of the MPs’ opposition to the scheme, offered guidance on how the matter could be handled.

The development set the pace for the Kadaga to assign COSASE to investigate the saga and the Katuntu committee is expected to carry out the assignment in two months and report back to the Speaker.


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