Mbabazi vs MPs over Shs50 billion scandal
Posted Wednesday, March 13 2013 at 02:00
Is it cost effective for Hon Tinkasiimire to earn Shs25million?
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi Tuesday appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee which is investigating the suspected theft of billions in his office which were meant for post-conflict recovery in northern Uganda and Karamoja. Yasiin Mugerwa brings excerpts of some of the exchanges:-
Amama Mbabazi-I don’t know anything in AG report concerning me but because of the magnitude of the Auditor General’s investigations, I thought it was important for me to appear before PAC to tell you what I know. Otherwise, the role of the Prime Minister is very clear in Article 108 (2a) and it’s regrettable that we have had these thefts in OPM.
Barnabas Tinkasiimire—Don’t tell us lies here. You present a ministerial statement and you are the one who signs every year how can you tell us that you’re not responsible? I have never seen the Minister for General Duties signing these policy statements. He is trying to run way from political responsibility. Is it cost effective for you to drive a Benz costing Shs500m, for ministers to have imprest of Shs3.5billion or it’s just a political gimmick?”
AmamaMbabazi—Is it cost effective for Hon Tinkasiimire to earn Shs25million? Mr Chairman, you need to control [ the members in] that corner, otherwise I can do something which will show me in a different colour.
Gerald Karuhanga—Did the Prime Minister call a member idiot? This arrogance must not be accepted in the committee. Do you want us to call you names?
Amama Mbabazi—I wish I was in a boxing ring; I would have boxed somebody already. Somebody would be on the ground, flat (joke).
Theodore Ssekikubo—How can a withered man even box?
Amama Mbabazi—What I found in place can change but it’s not true that I am the one who demanded that I need a Benz. The PS has already told you where the money came from and I can’t give better evidence than the PS?
Theodore Ssekikubo—The Prime Minister knew there was no money, he knew that he was extending the capacity of the vehicle, he cannot be let off the hook. He must tell the committee why he demanded for the Benz which is beyond the recommended capacity. He is not an innocent spectator.
Alice Alaso—The Joint Financing Agreement did not have the provision for the Benz and the Prime Minister knew this. Right Hon. Prime Minister, would you look the children of northern Uganda who have suffered in the face?
Amama Mbabazi—I have never been callous in my life, I care about the plight of the people in northern Uganda, but I need a car, I need an office and I need a salary to work. The purchase of the vehicles for ministers is a wider government policy.
Betty Achan Aol—Does the Prime Minister know the kind of poverty in northern Uganda? The people are poor yet the people in the Office of the Prime Minister are just stealing money meant for the development of our people. This is unfair. People are just enjoying themselves yet our people are suffering.