Museveni summons MPs over coffee report

President Yoweri Museveni. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • The report contains findings of Parliament investigations on the coffee deal that was signed between the government and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCC) in February this year.

Leader of Opposition Mr Mathias Mpuuga yesterday intensified pressure on the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mr Thomas Tayebwa demanding specifics on the fate of the coffee report before indicating that a section of his members on the Trade Committee had been summoned to the State House over the same.

The report contains findings of Parliament investigations on the coffee deal that was signed between the government and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCC) in February this year.

As he sought the indulgence of Mr Tayebwa, the Leader of Opposition revealed that opposition-leaning members on the Mwine Mpaka-led committee that processed the report had been invited to state House to present it to the Head of State.

“You are the custodian of the rules and the protector of the house and its business. The committee for trade is under attack and you guided last week that their business would be on the order paper after you have done perusal,” Mr Mpuuga said.

He added: “I am getting information from some of my members that they have been directed to go and make that report to the President. I am seeking your indulgence whether you have instructed your committee to go and report to the President but not Parliament and what I should tell my members to do in view of the fact that the committee report is ready and it will be before this house. I seek your guidance.”

However, Mr Tayebwa could not clearly confirm or dismiss the allegation saying that he needed more time to indulge the leadership of the committee.

"I am not privy to any such meeting," Mr Tayebwa said before adding: "Any side can always consult with their members. We already have the report. It is in our custody as the presiding officers of Parliament. So I really don't know what they are going to discuss and what will be presented.”

He added: “That is an issue which is really difficult for me to rule on because it would be speculation. But I am going to inquire from the leadership of the committee and then members can be guided by us. Our work does not only stop here when we are seated here.”

Before the deputy speaker could close reactions on the matter, the Bugabula West legislator Mr Maurice Kibalya claimed that MPs on the Committee had been invited and were already taking the Covid tests ahead of the meeting.

To this end, he demanded that the Deputy Speaker orders Clerk to Parliament to upload the soft copy of the report unto their Ipads for perusal ahead of time.  He reasoned that this would allow them enough time to adequately appreciate and internalize the details of the report and therefore be in a position to debate the findings of the report.

“There has been a practice where a report can be uploaded on our Ipads and it takes two or three weeks before getting space on the order paper. Wouldn’t it be procedurally right to upload that report because it is a fact (members on Trade Committee) are doing Covid tests,” he said.

The above comes as the latest attempt from MPs to have the report indicated on the order paper so that they can debate it before a binding position can be taken by Parliament on the same.

After a thorough probe by the committee last month, Mr Mwine Mpaka took to his Twitter handle and revealed that the report had been conclusively done and therefore only needed to be accommodated on the order paper.

Over the weekend, this publication carried some of the findings in the draft report that leaked. The report among others called for the cancellation of the deal and recommended that fresh negotiations be done between UVCC and the government.