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Ugandan MPs express anger over oil deals

Posted on Thursday, 29 September 2011 13:51

Ugandan MPs who have been pushing for an urgent parliamentary session to discuss the country’s oil agreements are seething with anger after their pleas were ignored.

Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament said as much as she was willing to recall the house, the MPs led by Abdu Katuntu and Theodore Ssekikubo must first convince her that the matter warranted an urgent session.

”Among the conditions to fulfill, these petitioners must write to me (indicating) whether the matter they want to discuss is urgent in nature, what time frame the sitting will take, who will participate and also whether it does not touch on the matters that are before court,” she said.

The Ugandan government is embroiled in a tax dispute with the Heritage Oil Company in the United Kingdom involving US$413 million.

The disputed money accrued from Heritage’s sale of shares to the Tullow Oil company worth over US$1 billion.??

Kadaga was angry that the MPs claim that they have never seen the oil agreements yet they were tabled before parliament.??

She says the agreements have been with parliament for over a year after they were tabled by then Energy minister Hillary Onek.

Kadaga was responding to a petition signed by over 160 MPs demanding that she convenes an emergency sitting to address the problems in the oil sector.

She said there was a danger the parliamentary debate might infringe on the case.??

One of the MPs who signed the petition, Amos Otto said: ”It is unfortunate that the Speaker of Parliament is stopping us from stopping those who want to steal our oil.

“We are not happy about it.”

The Ugandan parliament is on a break.

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