Speaker Directs COSASE To Probe Oil Cash Bonanza
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) committee to investigate circumstances under which 42 public officers were paid Ugx 6 billion as bonuses.
Kadaga, who made the directive during the plenary sitting on January 19, 2017, said COSASE will be charged with probing how the 42 officials received the money, after government
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 accountability committee will establish all revenues received so far from government under the Petroleum fund and also probe any matters related to the problem within two months.
“I reflected on our debate on the matter and I have confidence in the committee on COSASE. They have done a good job so far so I want to assign it to handle this investigation,” Kadaga said.
On Wednesday January 18, 2017, Mbarara Municipality MP, Michael Tusiime tabled the motion seeking for a probe. Tusiime expressed concern that the payment of the reward amounts to abuse of public funds since the officers were carrying out their normal duties in the course of their employment.
During debate on the motion, several legislators concurred that an investigation to establish the motive of the reward, as well as the process in which the
Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa tabled documents indicating that since 2010, Parliament had passed supplementary budgets which included funds to facilitate the technical team that handled the oil tax case, to a tune of Ugx 52 billion.
Okupa further revealed that a supplementary schedule tabled before Parliament in December 2016 had sneaked in the Ugx 6 billion payment under the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) budget, purportedly as arrears for salary enhancement for non-teaching staff.
Other MPs called for a value for money audit of all revenues that government has received since the discovery of oil in Uganda.