Friday December 7 2012

Government insists on oil law powers


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.