COSASE Starts Probe Into Shs Billion Bonus Payment
Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) will kick off investigations into the Ugx 6 billion shillings payment to 42 government officers.
On January 10, 2017, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga directed the committee to investigate circumstances under which the 42 public officers were paid the money as bonuses after winning an oil tax case against Heritage Oil and Gas Company.
Kadaga outlined six terms of reference to the committee, which will investigate the claims that the public officers solicited for the payment, honorarium, bonus or golden handshake from the President, contrary to standard practices of rewarding public officers.
The committee will investigate the basis of determination of the beneficiaries to the bonus payments, including a full account of the role of each beneficiary in the court cases.
It will also examine whether all the proper and legal procedures under the laws of Uganda were followed in making the alleged payments and also scrutinize all the supplementary requests and other budget allocations provided to public officers for facilitating the case in London.
The committee held a planning meeting on January 23, 2017, to draft a plan on the investigations into the pay outs, which have caused wide public furor over the manner in which the payments were doled out and the criteria used to make the payments.
Committee chairman, Abdu Katuntu, convened the meeting, where the members agreed that the committee will first meet with the movers of the motion in Parliament, including Mbarara Municipality MP, Michael Tusiime and seconders, Kasilo MP, Elijah Okupa, Bukedea Woman MP, Anita Among, Ndorwa East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba, Usuk MP, Peter Ogwang and Manjiya MP, John Baptist Nambeshe.
Tusiime, Okupa and Among are members of COSASE and will not participate in investigations into the matter, rather appear as witnesses.
The committee will meet with the 42 government officers. Some of those who received the bonus include Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Doris Akol, who initiated the payment.
Others are current Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi; Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director, Allen Kagina, Solicitor General, Francis Atoke, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi and former Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, among others.
The committee has been given 2 months to complete its investigations and table its report before the House for debate.