Friday April 13 2012

We have more on Tullow, MPs say

By Isaac Imaka

MPs who caused the recall of Parliament last year and tabled damming documents accusing Tullow Oil of bribing ministers have vowed to lay more evidence implicating the oil company in bribe.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Gerald Karuhanga, Mr Vincent Kyamadidi and Mr Abdu Katuntu said Tullow Oil is acting in a guilty manner and should prove to the public how they got the oil deals instead of asking them to retract their statements.

“The way they acted when we laid those documents in the House (sending a letter to Parliament through the Prime Minister) showed that they are not clean, unless they want to tell us that the Prime Minister is their mail boy,” Mr Karuhanga said.

“The only thing that can save their image is to explain to Ugandans how they got the licence when their agreements had expired.” The MPs’ utterances came a day after the Executive Director of Tullow, Mr Martin Graham, on behalf of the oil company, pleaded not guilty and told the parliamentary Ad hoc committee investigating the oil sector that they (Tullow) will at an appropriate time seek some kind of retraction (of the bribery allegations) from the MPs who made the statements.

But the MPs maintain that the oil company paid £17 million to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa as a bribe for his services in acquiring oil contracts in Uganda.
“As a criminal lawyer, 90 per cent of the people who are convicted for a crime plead not guilty until they are convicted,” Mr Abdu Katuntu said, adding, “the matter is under investigation. Let us wait for the committe report.”

But while addressing journalists after appearing before the Ad hoc committee, Mr Cazenove George, Tullow spokesperson, said; “We are ready for whatever new evidence that Mr Karuhanga will bring but we have to tell him that he has lost on this one.”