It is sad but true that the name of Mbabazi to many Uganda's is bad news. The prayer is that it gets out of the news.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Govt denies silencing Mbabazi on Basajja compensation saga
By Monitor Reporter
Posted Friday, March 2 2012 at 00:00
Bad example. The Prime Minister was reportedly silenced by fear that he could send bad signal to the public after he failed to step aside over the oil allegations.
Government and the ruling NRM party yesterday denied reports that Cabinet has asked Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi not to say anything about the culpability of State officials implicated in the Basajjabalaba compensation saga on the floor of Parliament for fear that he might send a bad signal about the fight against corruption.
NRM parliamentary caucus chairman David Bahati (Ndorwa East) jumped to the defence of the Prime Minister, insisting that as the compensation saga gathered steam, Mr Mbabazi was away in Ghana from where he returned recently.
“When he is not in the House, it is Gen. Moses Ali who leads us,” Mr Bahati said.
Gen Ali is the Third Deputy Premier and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
Cabinet sources, however, said shortly before Gen. Ali presented Cabinet’s position on the PAC report to Parliament last week, Mr Mbabazi had been dissuaded by his colleagues from appearing in the House to present the statement.
“We thought it was the right thing to do,” the sources, who cannot be named because they do not have authorisation to speak for Cabinet, said.
“The ad hoc committee on oil is investigating him and Parliament had wanted him to resign over certain allegations. The court has stopped his resignation but we thought Gen. Ali was in a better position to deliver the statement. It would have sent a bad signal for Mbabazi to ask [ministers] Khiddu Makubuya and Syda Bbumba to resign when he himself has issues,” Daily Monitor was told.
Although Mr Mbabazi attended the Cabinet meeting, which formulated the statement read by Gen. Ali, he did not attend the afternoon Parliament business.
Mr Mbabazi together with Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, who stepped aside because of another Chogm corruption case, have been named in oil bribery allegations. A parliamentary committee is investigating the allegations against the three ministers and other bureaucrats in the Ministry of Energy.
At the start of the debate on the PAC report, which implicated Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime-Mutebile and former ministers Bbumba and Makubuya, First Deputy Premier Eriya Kategaya was the one in chair.
It was only last week when Mr Mbabazi requested Parliament to stay its decision on Mr Mutebile to allow a Cabinet sub-committee first interrogate him.
Information Minister Mary Karooro Okurut also said: “It is not true that the PM was gagged. He is not a member of the select Cabinet committee dealing with these issues. It was, therefore, the chair of the committee Hon [Crispus] Kiyonga and Hon. Ali, who sits on the committee, who had the mandate to present Cabinet/ government positions to Parliament.”
Party caucus sources also indicated last night that they didn’t expect any contribution from Mr Mbabazi.
“He is also tainted in our eyes, and it wouldn’t be good for him to come and defend the indicted ministers,” said an MP, who preferred anonymity for fear of being cited for indiscipline.
PAC made recommendations to government that caused the sacking of Ms Bbumba and Prof. Makubuya. The same report indicted Mr Mutebile.
The official government position on the fate of Mr Mutebile is expected on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday next week.