Lawmaker challenges IGG inquiry on Karuma project
Posted Thursday, February 21 2013 at 02:00
Kabale Municipality MP Andrew Baryayanga has sued the Attorney General, alleging that the IGG’s act contravenes the Constitution.
The award of the contract for Karuma hydropower project has been hit by another hitch after it emerged that an MP has lodged a petition in court, challenging the powers of the Inspector General of Government to investigate the matter.
The Kabale Municipality MP, Mr Andrew Baryayanga, has sued the Attorney General, alleging that the directive of the IGG, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, to halt the award of the contract for the hydropower project, whose matter is currently pending before the High Court, is in bad taste.
The petition comes hardly a month since the IGG ordered the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to stop the procurement of a contractor for the Shs5.7 billion hydropower project, including the award of the contract to the best evaluated bidder until, inquiries are concluded.
Mr Baryayanga alleges that the move by the IGG is in the process of unilaterally cancelling the whole procurement process which act is contrary to the Constitution. “The provisions of the Sections of the IGG Act which give the office of the IGG open ended period within which to conduct the purported investigations, give absolute immunity to IGG officers, bar aggrieved parties from having recourse to courts of law, are inconsistent with or are in contravention of the Constitution,” reads part of the petition.
Through his attorneys, Severino Twinobusingye and John Mary Mugisha, the legislator and a member of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament argues that the IGG order amounts to interference with an ongoing case at Nakawa High Court, hence impedes the independence of the judiciary and defeats the doctrine of separation of powers.
Mr Twine Muganga, describing himself as a consumer, has since sued the procurement and disposal entity of the Ministry of Energy, seeking an order to quash the decisions of the ministry to award the contract and an order prohibiting the consideration of the best bidder.
The case is pending trial before Nakawa High Court Judge Faith Mwondha. “The office of the IGG purports to confer jurisdiction upon itself to interfere with matters before court which jurisdiction it does not have. The IGG’s orders undermines the Supremacy of the Constitution and defeats the tenets of natural justice, of the rule of law and democratic governance,” reads the petition.
An affidavit by Mr Baryayanga alleges that the public shall pay the ultimate price hence any intervention by anyone must be based on credible information and ought to be weighed against the wider interests of the country; “That anything that will unnecessarily delay the commencement of the project must be avoided,” it states.