Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Going by press reports, it is in black and white that Uganda's finances are badly managed. The problem is greatly to do with the powers of the President, which position is made worse when the President uses his position to give instructions to whoever has to implement, which more often than not cannot be question. And what is clear as of now, is that the President in an effort to save his face always leaves the party he gave instruction to alone. Through legislation, it is possible to ensure that no government employee executes instructions contrary to the norm wherever the instructions should have originated from. It is also common experience that much of the misuse is through supplementary budgets.
The second area the Members of Parliament need to work on is that of the representation to join the Parliament. it now makes little sense to have big number in Parliament given our resources. Time is ripe to get constituencies as representative of a given population size. While some MPs may be against such a law, they ought to know that they are not in Parliament for life, whatever they do, some how somewhere they will be replaced, so, it makes good sense to make a law where the Parliamentary numbers get reduced.
Lastly, we cannot continue with the Presidential terms open. the challenge for the current Parliament is to have the term limits back. it does not make sense any more simply because of one person to have the Presidential terms unlimited. This sis the greatest challenge for the current Parliament simply to save the country sink further into mess.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka


Posted Thursday, December 22 2011 at 00:00

In Summary

President says he ordered Basajjabala’s compensation but denies dictating the amount to ministers. He promises to ‘handle’ Bbumba and Makubuya.

President Museveni yesterday said he was the one who ordered the cancellation of Hassan Basajjabalaba’s market deals and later instructed line ministers to compensate him and other businessmen for the losses.

The President, who was meeting members of Parliament’s Accounts Committee at State House, Nakasero, however, denied reports that he had given express instructions on amounts to be paid in compensation.

“I am the one who ordered the cancellation of Basajjabalaba’s contracts because the policy of government is that markets must be owned by the people,” Mr Museveni said. “But I instructed the Attorney General (Prof Khiddu Makubuya) to put in place an inter-ministerial committee to study his (Basajjabalaba’s) compensation claims and advise me accordingly.”

Appearing before the MPs earlier, former finance minister Syda Bbumba, former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya and Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile all tabled letters from the President instructing them to pay the businessman.

The President yesterday said: “I was ready to take action for attempting to frame me but she (Bbumba) denied, saying she was misquoted. For Makubuya I have not talked to him yet. This prompt obedience of my directive is a new thing. How many times have I directed but nothing has been done? In any case, even if I had taken a stand, was it wrong to guide me on my stand?”

Dismissed claims
Mr Museveni also dismissed claims that letters emanating from his office could have been forged, acknowledging all of them. He, however, insisted that ministers and technocrats were to follow the law while determining how much to pay in compensation. He said according to police reports, Mr Basajjabalaba had so far been paid Shs169 billion and not Shs142 billion as indicated in the PAC report.

The President indicated that the businessman had received an extra Shs26.8 billion this year for Nakawa Market. Described by MPs as calm and cooperative, President Museveni told the legislators led by Kassiano Wadri (Terego) that he had asked State House officials Joy Kabatsi and Godfrey Agaba to appear before PAC this morning for further questioning on Basajjabalaba’s pay. He also said he had asked Police to investigate the possibility of collusion and that the ministers would be ‘handled’.
A press release from State House last night quoted the President saying: “These two ministers will be handled fairly but they will be handled. There is a problem with the Attorney General’s office and because of this I started being suspicious of it. In the oil sector, the minister of energy and Attorney General had cleared the stabilisation clause and oil tax revenue but I had been warned.”
He added: “In order to stop impunity, we must investigate and find the truth and see what to do. We have been investigating and are nearing the truth, those found guilty will be held accountable. The work you see in UBC has been done by the whistle blowers and the CID and we have acted decisively”, he said.
The President also dismissed an idea by Mr Gerald Karuhanga (Western Youth) that corrupt ministers be given a two-month amnesty to resign, seek forgiveness or be sacked, warning the MPs against
He cautioned Parliament against malice. “Do not act the Karuhanga way, presenting unauthenticated documents to Parliament, calling other people thieves before investigations. This can cause irreparable damage”, he said.
On the loss of Shs32billion to Burundi, the President asked for time to first investigate and report back to the committee in February. He said Shs8.1billion which was given to Col. John Mugyenyi for the loss of business in Kisekka market should be investigated and the $16.4 million lost to Dura Cement Ltd through Ministry of defence must be recovered. The blame again blamed ministers and technocrats for negligence in the handling of these compensations.

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