Kadaga orders Umeme bribery claims probe
Posted Wednesday, December 11 2013 at 11:52
Foul play. The Leader of Opposition in Parliament says there are allegations that some legislators have been bribed to vote in favour of Umeme.
Parliament’s Rules Committee is to investigate claims that some MPs might have been compromised to vote against the termination of power distributor Umeme’s 20-year concession. This follows a request by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, to the House to probe the claims.
“On the issue of the oil and Umeme reports, there are serious allegations. Let our Rules Committee investigate. If there is some truth, we deal with it,” said Mr Mafabi yesterday during plenary. Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, has given the call a go-ahead.
“I instruct the rules committee to investigate the allegations,” Ms Kadaga said. She, however, said the allegations made are “unfair to the members and to the institution of Parliament”.
“So you must be cautious about what you say. In future, I will demand that if you make allegations, you come to the plenary and substantiate them with names, dates and times,” Ms Kadaga said. Their remarks come against a background of claims that some MPs might have been compromised to vote against the adoption of the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Energy.
Among other recommendations, the ad hoc committee recommended that the government terminates the Umeme concession because the Attorney General did not draft the concession agreements as required by the Constitution.
Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, the MP for Obongi County, said: “Not everybody is bad. But if there are bad people, they should be pointed out. As you protect Parliament’s image, take cognisance of the fact that some of us might not be good people.”
It is not clear when the rules committee will commence the assignment and when it will present a report before the House.
In the past, as illustrated by the Sejusa probe, some clerks have been slow at communicating the Speaker’s directives to the committee.
The Sejusa probe found Gen David Sejusa guilty of being absent from the House without permission and thus MPs voted to strip him of his parliamentary seat.
Earlier this month, Energy minister Irene Muloni said the Umeme concession will not be terminated.
Were Uganda to terminate the concession as recommended by Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on Energy (ACE) last October, Ms Muloni said, it would affect the delivery of electricity