MPs were late last night locked in bitter disagreement over whether to refer Clause 9, which spells out the energy minister’s powers in the oil Bill, to a House committee.
By press time, the government side had rejected a new proposal presented by Mr Abdu Katuntu.
However, Attorney General Peter Nyombi rejected Mr Katuntu’s passionate pleas. “Even if there was a narrow window to refer Katuntu’s proposal to the committee, that would be an exercise in futility,” he said.
Ruling party MPs turned up in large numbers following a morning caucus meeting addressed by their chairman, President Museveni. Sources said the MPs were whipped into line, held a mock vote in which Mr Museveni’s wishes
for the Energy minister to retain near-unilateral powers to grant and revoke licences, and to negotiate agreements, carried the day.