MP Karuhanga Named Person Of The Year 2011


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dosage search geneva; font-size: small;”>When other legislators feared speaking out loudly against the pathetic corruption in Uganda’s nascent oil sector, Gerald Karunga did the opposite.

He instead shocked the nation by tabling before Parliament documents pinning three powerful government officials in dipping their hands in the oil till.

The revelation startled the world. Not only did Karuhanga’s documents trigger a ground-breaking investigation, they raised an alarm there was something fishy in the oil sector.

Karuhanga caused a tsunami in NRM, compelling the all-powerful Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa to step aside. This was a big leap in fighting corruption in the country.

Much as his documents’ credibility is still under question, Parliament has discovered anomalies in the oil sector because of Karuhanga’s bold move.

For example, following a debate triggered by Karuhanga, Parliament resolved that a moratorium on executing oil contracts and /or transactions be put on Government until the necessary laws have been passed by the house to put into effect the Oil and Gas Policy.


This would save the country from shoddy oil deals and loss of billions of shillings.

Karuhanga’s arguments in Parliament forced government to produce all agreements it had executed with all companies in the oil industry including the Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda Revenue Authority and Tullow (U) in March 2011.

Finance Minister Mari Kiwanuka responded positively thus cooling tempers among the public. The development also boosted confidence in the way government was handling oil deals which is necessary in averting civil strife.

It was because of Karuhanga that it was decided by Parliament there shall be no arbitration on any tax dispute outside Uganda in consideration of the decision of the High Court of Uganda Civil Appeal No 14 of 2011 (Commercial Court Division) between Heritage Oil and Gas Limited (Appellant) versus Uganda Revenue Authority (Respondent).

This would save government the burden and resources needed to pursue oil crooks in foreign countries.

It was because of Karuhanga that Parliament decided that government reviews all Production Sharing Agreements already executed for purposes of harmonizing them with the law and the decision of Court.

It was realised the clauses oust unconstitutionally the powers of Parliament to make laws for the development of Uganda and put the profit making motive of companies superior to the interest of Ugandans. This was a right decision in the correct direction!

Without Karuhanga’s input, government would not have joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to boost transparency in the oil sector.


It was because of Karuhanga that Parliament invoked Article 41 of the Constitution, directing Government to desist from executing any contract in the oil industry with a provision/clause for confidentiality.

While intellectuals argued the documents submitted by Karuhanga were forged, his move created drama that saw Parliament direct an account of all revenues so far received by Government from the oil industry be made to Parliament within 7 days showing how much has been received, from who, for which areas (blocks) and where it is kept and in particular the following revenues.

Bank of Uganda Governor’s subsequent presentation to MPs was found lacking. It was discovered Capital gains tax received by URA took long to be credited on BoU account. It’s feared some one made an interest before it was officially wired on the BoU account.

Paul Collier, a senior Economist at Oxford University appealed to Ugandans to ensure oil does not become a curse.

While addressing a recent symposium at Common Wealth Resort, Munyonyo, Collier said there was need for transparency in the oil sector to avoid a civil war.

Therefore by saving 2.5bn barrles of oil worth $7bn from going to waste and inspiring the youth to rise up in arms to combat corruption, Karuhanga is Person of The Year 2011.


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