Saturday, June 9, 2012


If money is meant to buy a car, then that money should buy a car according to the standing orders of Uganda Government. What happened is that the MPs used the opportunity to use the money as they thought. Nambooze bought an Ambulance from the funds. This is a positive boost for her in the forthcoming elections, but the fact remains that she got the money for a personal car. If she did not need one or saw it as Government bribing her, then she should have refused. It is very hard to work under the Movement umbrella and you are not compromised, because in one way or the other you end up a beneficiary of what the system gives other MPs as incentives to see its programmes through. It is this which brings me to the point whether the MPs can really play an oversight role in the oil sector. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MPs DEMAND OVERSIGHT ROLE IN MANAGEMENT OF OIL SECTOR By Isaac Imaka Posted Saturday, June 9 2012 at 07:53 As the country waits for Parliament to pass the much-awaited oil laws, a section of MPs are demanding that the House be given an oversight role before the Bills are made into law. The MPs want Parliament mandated to ensure transparency and accountability by compelling the Petroleum Authority to be accountable to the House. “The strategic nature of oil resources requires Parliament to establish an authority that is distinct from other regular authorities with a requirement that it is directly accountable to parliament,” the MPs’ resolution reads. The parliamentarians agreed to push for the change during a retreat at Chobe Hotel, Hoima District, last week. “Can you imagine Parliament had been completely left out?” wondered MP Gerald Karuhanga, who is also the chairman of African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption- Uganda Chapter. He added: “There was no single word-parliament- and we found it weird that someone wants run the sector without parliament.” 70 proposals Instead of reading that there is established the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, the parliamentarians want section 10(1) of the read; “There is established the Petroleum Authority of Uganda which shall be directly accountable to Parliament and the President.” The oil laws are currently before the House committee on natural resources for scrutiny after which it is expected to present a report to the House for debate. But during the ACODE-sponsored retreat, the 40 MPs analysed the proposed laws and made 70 proposals which they will push for debate. The MPs were drawn from the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas and members of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption- Uganda Chapter. The Bills in focus were the Petroleum [Refining, Gas Processing and Conversion, Transportation and storage] 2012 and the Petroleum [Exploration, Development and Production] Bill 2012. The parliamentarians also resolved to push for a new provision to establish an inter-institution or inter-agency oversight committee that enables participation of a wide range of stakeholders to provide oversight over the sector beyond traditional agencies or arms of government. Share This Story Share “This inter-agency is to be constituted from members of the civil society and may include members from societies such as the Uganda Law Society, Engineers’ Associations, inter-religious groups, cultural leaders and such people that represent the citizens and ensure that the actions in petroleum sector are in line with what was stated in the National Oil and Gas Policy,” part of the resolution of the MPs reads. Speaking to Saturday Monitor after the retreat, MP Karuhanga said the meeting formed a strong foundation for up-coming debate when the natural resources committee presents its report. Ready for debate “I assure you that after that retreat, we are going to have an extremely informed and focused debate when we start considering those laws clause by clause in the House,” he said. The MPs also rejected Section One of the two Bills which gives the minister the discretion to appoint a date on which the Bills, if passed in to law, will come into force. “The legislation on oil is critically important for the country also taking into account the urgency to which Parliament views its responsibilities under the Constitution and hence should not delegate the powers to determine the entry into force of the Act to the Minister,” a resolution by the lawmakers adds. They proposed that the provision should read thus, “This Act shall come into force in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution.”

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