Live Updates from Parliament: Uganda Parliament reopens

Tuesday October 25 2011

By Sheila Naturinda

5:30pm: Tinkasimire says the anti-gays Bill is overdue because the spirit of his ancestors tells him that they lived without this practices, says he hears government saying when we pass the anti-gays Bill, we shall loose the donor’s money. We can’t afford to stay with such ills in our society and when it comes before the floor, we shall all pass it and support it.

• Speaker says all reports not discussed in the Eighth Parliament will also be brought through a motion and discussed, passed or amended.

• Epetait says the Pharmacy Bill was handled and committee of social services sent it back to the Ministry for re-drafting, so it shouldn’t be on the list.

5:12pm: • Dr Sam Lyomoki says an amendment be included that says ‘any other Bills’ because there could be some others left behind by the motion movers, and they are in the committees.
• Katuntu says Bills come to the House through readings and that when they do come for the first reading; they are committed to the committees relevant. He says as of now we don’t have those Bills and they can’t be brought into the House through a motion.
• Speaker says she has done research in the India and House of commons & in Canada, and that is the method they used.

• Dr Sam Lyomoki says an amendment be included that says ‘any other Bills’ because there could be some others left behind by the motion movers, and they are in the committees.
• Katuntu says Bills come to the House through readings and that when they do come for the first reading; they are committed to the committees relevant. He says as of now we don’t have those Bills and they can’t be brought into the House through a motion
• Speaker says she has done research in the India and House of commons & in Canada, and that is the method they used

5:00pm: 5pm debate on oil closed and House goes to item number 7 on the order paper.
• Lt Col Sara Mpabwa moves a motion to save the Bills left un- debated by the Eighth Parliament. Her motion is seconded by Ayena Cryspus.

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• Some of the bills are;
• Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2009
• Narcotics Bill 2007
• Regional governments bill 2009
• Transfer of convicted offenders Bill 2007
• Geographical Bill 2006
• Government assurances Bill 2008
• Anti homosexuality bill 2009

• Shuttles security Bill 2009
• Companies bill 2009
• Marriage and divorce 2009
• Prohibition of torture Bill 2010
• Plant protection & health Bill l2010
• Hiv/Aids prevention 2010
• Pharmacy professional and 2006
• UNBS Amendment Bill 2010

• Counterfeit bill 2011

• Dr Epetait says having many new members in Ninth parliament, it gets hard for new MPs to start learning the contents of the Bills. He proposes that ministers concerned table the Bills afresh for first reading
• Speaker rules that reports of the 8th parliament will be used as working documents and the committees will re-handle the Bills, if the Parliament agrees that we save them.

4:50pm: Abdu Katuntu says a closer scrutiny shows same handwriting, same pen from 2006- to 2011 “and it looks like they were written same day”. He says it looks like someone sat one day and started writing these manual receipts.
• Ekanya says when using EFT, banks ask how much time you want the money moved…we need to know if the movement of the money from one account to another in the same bank was for two weeks.. Because if you just hold foreign currency for 24 hours and benefit from it even 0.01 profit, it’s very much money.

• Ekanya asks why the money was converted immediately to UgShs yet it wasn’t needed immediately.
• Frank Tumwebaze takes to the floor saying credit sometimes should be given where it’s due. He says last year he presented a report on income tax amendments---thoroughly on oil to enable government collect oil. We faced a lot of resistance on this floor with some of our colleagues asking the need for rush.

• He says we must thank government for collecting the taxes, even before the laws are in place.
• He says the concerns of the opposition MPs, are relevant because the House empowered the office of the Auditor General. “We shouldn’t be skeptical of everything. We should now be asking what other procedures we shall make to get more money out of this.”
• He says government should explain if the proposals on arbitration of oil companies be looked at- and he thanked the Ministry of Finance for bringing the statement
• Rapheal Magezi takes to the floor and also thanks Finance for the statement given on revenues…clearly we now all know what was collected from oil revenues.

• He says he has 2 comments regarding royalties. He says Minister said we have no loyalties since production hasn’t started. He proposes that government puts an appropriate policy regarding loyalties & how sharing will be done
• He says regarding expenditure, Kiwanuka explains the Shs8.4bn for Karuma. He says he is thankful but the data is inadequate because the oil debate resolution number 6 required that Minister gives a statement of all expenditures…I seek if she can expand on the statement to bring the details of the resolutions

• Speaker calls Ministers, says you gave a partial statement- “when are you going to complete it because we are still bound by the resolutions.”

• Kiwanuka says she appreciates the questions raised by Parliament. She says the accounts came from BoU that money has been there since then. She also explains that capital gains tax is paid on resources which are quantifiable.

• She explains the training fees question will be provided by the Ministry Energy.
• She says IMFS is not a management system but a banking system. She says the data needed by the House aren’t provided by the system and her failure to present hardcopies would have been queried
• She says the similarity of signatures and pen, and handwriting….she says handwriting is of a cashier of ministry of energy. She says given the volume of documents we archive every day, we need all documents to be accompanied by receipts.
• She asks for 1 month to provide all the information needed.
• She apologizes for the typing errors on date, because staffs were in a hurry to make the statement.

• Jack Mamanga says Allen Kagina lied to the President that the money was transferred on the same day, yet here the Minister says the money took 14 days as seen on her documents and receipts- can she explain?
• Speaker rules that all that data will be used as evidence during the adhoc committee terms or reference. Says how the money remained in the bank for 14 days and also how the money to be used in dollars was converted to Ugshs. Says those will form part of the terms of reference of the adhoc committee.
• Kiwanuka says the information needed will be given to the adhoc committee after tabling on the floor.


• Ekanya asks why the money was converted immediately to UgShs yet it wasn’t needed immediately.
• Frank Tumwebaze takes to the floor saying credit sometimes should be given where it’s due. He says last year he presented a report on income tax amendments---thoroughly on oil to enable government collect oil. We faced a lot of resistance on this floor with some of our colleagues asking the need for rush.

• He says we must thank government for collecting the taxes, even before the laws are in place.
• He says the concerns of the opposition MPs, are relevant because the House empowered the office of the Auditor General. “We shouldn’t be skeptical on everything. We should now be asking what other procedures we shall make to get more money out of this.”
• He says government should explain if the proposals on arbitration of oil companies be looked at- and he thanked the Ministry of Finance for bringing the statement
• Rapheal Magezi takes to the floor and also thanks Finance for the statement given on revenues…clearly we now all know what was collected from oil revenues.

4:44pm: • Ekanya asks Kiwanuka why BoU lies that it is still looking for data yet a year ago we procured an intergrated system where all data is on computers. He says the receipts she has presented are manual receipts…which the user BoU and GoU stopped using long ago.
• He asks “who gave you this information Madam Minister…you are really respected but ask that you go back and ask governor BoU and other officials…
• Ekanya says he has high regard for the Min of Finance and that is why we give her to clarify so that we avoid suspicion because even the serial numbers are weird, going by their years.

4:32pm: • He says in these circumstances, if members are to get all the data they need, the most appropriate procedure is to forward to the relevant committee and they scrutinize the details. You have ruled on that matter
• Medard Ssegoona stands on order and says this matter has been on this floor and you have already made a ruling- is Banyenzaki in order
• Speaker says I don’t know why Banyenzaki came in…”I want the members ot raise their issues for clarification and the minister makes a commitment on when she will bring them information.”

• Banyenzaki stands and says “Madam Speaker, most obliged.”
• Byabagambi takes to the floor says Ekanya has said documents presented here should be certified yet recently he supported some documents which were tabled here with no certification. Since when did you change your mind?
• Ekanya says he used elementary English of UPE standard and wonders why Byabagambi didn’t understand. “I said next time, not now…!”

4:25pm: • Anywar goes ahead to demand that Kiwanuka explains the details of the money budgeted for training according to her statement. She says all Ugandans must benefit from those trainings. She concludes by saying the details aren’t enough to form an opinion as regards to the demands of resolution 5.
• Ekanya (shadow Finance) takes to the floor and says he thanks Kiwanuka for the statement.
• Henry Banyenzaki stands on point of procedure and seeks to know the procedures we are using while we debate. He says the accounts have been given by Minister and details and he appreciates the work members’ are doing to demand for more scrutiny.

4:18pm: Betty Nambooze takes to the floor on the matter of information and says statement is dated October 19, 2010 and today is October 25. It was written last year……
• Speaker rules her and asks that the date may be wrong but the headline is relevant to the resolution “there could be some error” she asks that they ignore the date.
• Anywar asks Kiwanuka to go back to her office and consults her technical team and return with something that can be appreciated by all members of the House.

• Bright Rwamirama stands on point of procedure saying we must appreciate that the Minister has responded and that financial statements when you scrutinize them, there may be need for further information. I request that this information be submitted to the relevant committee anc come with technical people to explain if the MPs so wish
• Speaker rules him out that since it is the whole House which asked for the information, she should first bring the data to the floor before the whole committee.

4:12pm: Odonga Otto takes to the floor and says the people of Aruu have sent him to ask some questions about the revenues. He reads from the Minister’s statement which says there wasn’t enough time to consolidate books from three ministries and BoU.
• Otto says the information Kiwanuka says will give later is what they need right now. He says 2006-2011 they raised Shs8.4bn…he says when such figures are in dollars some people don’t get it right (he has converted the figures already)

• Otto says the Parliament should deny the comprehensive report as resolution demanded and not mere blanket figures since the years in question were electioneering years. He says the reason Parliament wants minute details of signature bonuses, NTR and capital gains is because there is information pending investigations that some ministers were making deals with some companies while negotiating with the oil companies.
• Otto says he has since the debate of oil learnt his economics which he had hated through school. He says he has learnt that there is a lot of money in Ugandan circulation that the purchasing power of Ugshs has gone down. “you got oil money and bought jets…”

• Speaker asks him to ask for his explanation and sits down…Otto says he has been away and now is getting excited. He says he wants the Minister of Finance to inform the House when she intends to bring the information as requested by the resolution movers and motion adopted by the whole House.”

4:08pm: • Katuntu says he feels offended when ministers like Byabagambi shouting and heckling at him because it doesn’t help anyone’s case. “Let us behave like there hasn’t been a rehearsal.”
• Byabagambi takes to the floor…”when I asked Katuntu which document he meant, he went wild and imputed ill-motives that I was shouting at him when I was actually a gentleman?”
• Katuntu says the resolution demanded total accountabilities of the revenues, from which company and from which oil block. He says Kiwanuka just gives blanket figures rather than the details of what parliament wanted.

• He says he is aware that there had been some farming in and out of companies- he says those are the details which the motion movers required. He says as it is now, it seems there is no small minute detail. “why are you hiding the details? What we want is what company paid what and when?”
• He says in his view the response from Kiwanuka falls short of what is required by resolution number 5

4:00pm: She gives figures for NTR for FY years 2006- 2011
• She says all related NTR revenues commenced 2001/2002. She says because of no enough time, there weren’t bank statements for the previous years before 2006.
• She says the exercise is going on from Ministry of Energy and Finance and that she would bring them when they are through with the consolidation.
• LOYALITIES: she says no loyalty from oil has been realized.

• Katuntu takes to the floor asking July 6, Min of Finance which was asked to transfer to GoU the oil revenue to an account, the entries were effected the same day leaving a nil balance and a credit balance on oil account.
• Katuntu says she goes ahead and says July 21, the funds were converted. I would like her to clarify where the money was between the July 7 and 21st.
• He also asks why it took 14 days to have the money converted from USD to Ug shs
• He says when we debated the oil sector, we were provided with 2 different statements and now there is a third one she is just bringing to our attention- where has it come from? (Hon Byabagambi- these are not roads but finances---we are seeking clarification..)

3:50pm: • She says putting these funds on consolidated accounts was aimed at transparency.
• She says July 21, 2011 the funds USD449, 424,960,m were converted into Shs1.161, 736,556,120. And says the funds were put on the shillings GoU consolidated account.
• She lays bank statements of the capital gains tax- she however says not all revenues are related to the oil revenues but oil transactions.

3:40pm: Gerald Karuhanga takes to the floor that while in London (Heritage Arbitration case) that what we are debating here isn’t just an issue of Parliament. He says it has not only captured the attention of all the citizens of this nation but even those who wish Ugandans well beyond the border. He says what Parliament decided last week has been highly respected and taken very seriously by those who don’t sit in this House but are party to this country…..(murmurs)
• Speaker rules that since House resumed today, the Minister of Finance should answer to one of the resolutions which had a time frame of 7 days.
• Ssemujju says if there are answers to resolution of 7 days, what happens to the resolutions of immediately?

3:35pm: Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka takes to the floor to give response to the resolution of Parliament during the oil debate. Resolution number 5.
• Before she starts, Ibrahim Ssemujju seeks guidance … (I know there are colleagues who have rehearsed to make noise and they have come here today to distinguish themselves in heckling…) order! Order! Order!

• Nyakecho stands and says Ssemujju should be aware that when speaking one shouldn’t use abusive language and insinuations “is it in order that he says we are making noise. I request that he withdraws and apologize to the House)
• Speaker doesn’t rule but asks Ssemujju to continue and finish his statements. Ssemujju says; “I want to apologize to those who have been shouting, but I seek guidance because you have informed this house and the Minister for presidency stood here and said there will be a response and said we should wait. Am wondering since the minister of Finance wants to respond to one of them….gives way

3:30pm: • Betty Nambooze takes to the floor on item number 5 to read a petition signed by 82 councillors in the districts of Wakiso and Mukono. The petition seeks parliament to review the traffic and Road safety (city bus service regulations) 2011.
• She tables the petition and then reads the petitioners prayers-----------speaker sends the petition to committee of local government and public service for perusal and subsequent report to the House.

3:27pm: Fred Omach (Finance Minister) lays the Bank of Uganda annual report 2009/2010, 2010/2011. Speaker commits the reports to committee of Finance, Planning & Economic Development.
• Chairman COSASE Patrick Amuriat lays on table Uganda Development Bank Financial statements for the years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
• Amuriat also tables Bank of Uganda annual report accounts & reports and opinions of the Auditor General for the year ended June 2000, June 2001, June 2002, 2003,2004,2005, 2006,2007, 2008, & 2009.

Waiting for the Finance Minister who comes on soonest to give resolution 5 on oil debate which had a time line of 7 days

3:22pm: Theodore Ssekikubo stands to the floor and says he had caught the eye of the speaker and thought the Minister of Internal Affairs was on the same matter… (Speaker, please protect me from a looser who is imposing himself here in the House…SALEH KAMBA). (Members laugh). He says the Parliament passed resolutions number 5 which had a time frame of 5 days… “an account of all revenues be made to Parliament within 7 days showing how much has been received.”

• Speaker says Finance Minister is coming to report to that resolution today item number 6…”it’s on the order paper.” She says she has put the matter today on the order paper and Finance Minister will come to report on the resolution.

3:20pm: Internal Affairs Junior Minister James Baba takes to the floor and tables the ‘PUBLIC ORDER MANAGEMENT BILL 2011.” Speaker commits it to the committee of legal and parliament affairs for perusal and return within 45 days.

Kiiza says even when the committee is named, it should start to work on a clean slate with no intimidation, like what am beginning to see (she insinuates the NRM booing). She takes her seat.
• Simon Aleper takes to the floor and asks that when any MP rises to talk, we all listen and respect each other. He says he has seen his colleagues on his side NRM shouting with no listening. He says Speaker has guided well and asks what more the debate is about after her wise guidance.

• Speaker says when we passed resolutions, we had delayed sitting for at least one hours. “I suspended the House 2 times to ensure that they are here because it is to them. We have done our work; we have given them the resolutions. Let us wait and see. I have a committee on Thursday and we set up our committee, and start investigations.”

3:12pm: Speaker says; “I have informed you that I have sent resolutions to the president and waiting response. I have also told you that on Thursday I will form the adhoc committee.
• Stand in Leader of Opposition Winifred Kiiza stands and gives her speech on behalf of the opposition and welcomes the speaker from IPU. She says although she will take the Speaker’s ruling, she says the matter now on the floor is about resolution 9 which talks about Ministers suspected ….

• Kabakumba Masiko rises on a point of order quoting rules of procedure that the ruling of the speaker shall not be put to debate.
• Speaker refuses to rule and asks Ms Kiiza to continue
• Kiiza continues and reads the resolution which Parliament passed. She says the resolution was passed Tuesday 11, October 2011….(MPs NRM side keep shouting as clerk rings the bell…) she continues and reads the resolution which asked that Ministers step aside with immediate effect.

John Byabagambi stands and asks…Hon Members, let us learn to listen to each other and make meaningful debate. He says he grew in a civilized family not like Tinkasimire, so he can do whatever he wants to do. He says Speaker has ruled that she already wrote to the executive over the resolutions….is it procedurally right to debate on matters when you have already ruled?

Speaker says she didn’t hear a resolution that no one won’t associate with any suspect mentioned in the resolutions. We have a canteen at Parliament, are you suggesting that some members shall be expelled from the canteen facilities? Please don’t over-stretch things.

Ekanya Godfrey stands to ask what happens in-case she doesn’t get the response from the Head of State. “Do we evoke our powers as Parliament?” he asks… Ekanya says the 3 ministers undergoing Chogm trials in court have stepped aside and they have read news in papers but need official communication.
• Olivia Kwagala (Iganga Woman MP) moves on point of order; “Is it in order for an MP who has served for a long period to continue talking about rules of procedure without quoting them and also to ignore article 28 of the constitution?”

• Speaker asks her “what does the constitution article you quoted say?”
• Kwagala takes to the floor and reads the article which talks of fair hearing.

• Felix Okot-Ogong stands quoting rule 7 ‘procedure on a matter not provided for in the rules,’ he says Parliament and the whole country was in total concern of what was an urgent subject that Parliament.
• Okot says Parliament made a resolution and he says he has in the case….(murmurs) speaker calls for order in the House to allow him continue….

• Rusoke (Kabarole ) asks that Ogong sits down because Speaker awaits President’s response but Speaker rules her out and allows Ogong to continue
• Ogong says he has a document showing honorable members drinking and winning with…..my conscience is very clear and am sure am doing the right thing. He says he wants to lay on the table. He says he has a picture of MPs drinking and winning with some suspects, against whom resolutions were passed.

2:55pm: She also calls members of the appointments committee to meet November 7, to consider various presidential nominees.

She says this week Thursday she will conclude the terms of reference of the adhoc committee on oil sector and will announce the members on the committee to start investigations

Procedure point: Betty Amongi stands to ask who the current leader of government business is, and also to know how far the leader of government business has gone with the implementation of some of the resolutions of Parliament which require the Executive to take action.

Speaker says she has transmitted the resolutions to head of state for implementation “For me I have done my work.” (claps claps across)

2:50pm: She also calls members of the appointments committee to meet November 7, to consider various presidential nominees.

• She says this week Thursday she will conclude the terms of reference of the adhoc committee on oil sector and will announce the members on the committee to start investigations

She also says during recess she evoked her powers and appointed Fox Odoi to chair the committee of rules, discipline and privileges.

She announces her new office at the Inter Parliamentary Union given to her when she took a delegation to the IPU conference in Switzerland.

She announced the retirement of the Parliament long serving clerk Aenas Tandekwire who left after 36 years in Civil service. She says the good work he rendered to parliament will be missed- wishing him a happy and successful retirement.

She says Mr Tandekwire will be always asked for some of his services

She announces that Kaija &Wabwire (both deputies) will continue running parliament until the President appoints a substantive clerk.

She also says MPs should have done political surgery in their constituencies and she thanks Parliament for concluding State of Nation and budget.

• She says second meeting of the First session of the Ninth Parliament is the one starting today with Bills. She asks that committees seriously work on any tasks which will be given to them starting today.
• She addresses members about the business committee of Parliament. She says only 2 businesses were brought by the Executive- the budget and the State of Nation.
• She says she has written to the Executive that they haven’t brought business. She says the business committee sits after chairpersons of the various committees come having been called by the speaker to update her on the business they have before their committees.
• She says Executive is expected to bring their own Bills or and loan requests and be tabled for the committees to handle.
• She says if the executive has serious and urgent matters, they have to write to her office and she considers.

2:44 pm: Speaker enters- it is a full House.
• She welcomes a delegation from South Sudan Parliament, says yesterday she met several ladies also from the same country.
• She also says the gallery has head teachers from Kole district
• She also says MPs should have done political surgery in their constituencies and she tahnks Parliament for concluding state of Nation and budget.

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