Oil Probe: Drama As Mbabazi Quizzes MPs
The Parliamentary hearing into reports Amama Mbabazi accepted a saucy bribe from oil company Eni have today Tuesday turned dramatic with the Premier quizzing MPs.
The session which kicked off at 10:00am saw Mbabazi posing more questions to MPs than answer questions raised by the investigating legislators.
Where the Premier did not answer question with another, he gave short answers of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘Go and ask the accuser.’
Confused by Mbabazi’s brainy response, the MPs had to briefly throw out the Premier with the view of working out a better questionaire.
On his return, Mbabazi's response to questions was no better, forcing MP Cecilia Ogwal to blast him: “If you were in my class, I would force you to repeat.”
"Why did you lay an uncertified document before the committee? Were you in hurry or panicking?" Mbabazi quizzed the MPs.
"For Chogm, they accused me of having hidden interests but if they were hidden how did they see them [interests]? Why are you calling this as an oil scandal? Have you come to conclusions? I thought I had come to give you information to help you in your investigations. But the way you are talking is like you have made conclusions that this is a scandal."
Mbabazi further blasted the MPs: "It is not enough that someone throws something on the table and then you call someone who is accused to come and put flesh there.”
The furious PM also lectured the MPs on how Parliamentary probe committees operate.
“That’s not how things work. Things relating to payments, meetings, I have answered that I do not know anything but maybe the accuser knows something about them. So it is the accuser who will help you get that," Mbabazi said.
“If I am the accused, there is an accuser. So in terms of who has the burden of proving the accusation, it is the accuser and my expectations will be to ask some of those questions you have asked me to the accusers," he blasted the investigators.
Mbabazi vehemently refused to divulge details of his faxes, emails, telephone correspondences and bank transactions for the last six years.
"I do not even know the relevance of someone asking for my bank accounts because no one has said that I was paid through a particular bank account. So if anyone thinks I was paid, they should be the ones to provide those details,” the pompous lawyer-Premier slammed the miserable MPs.
A one point, Ogwal had a bitter exchange with Mbabazi regarding grammar usage.
In his defence, Mbabazi clarified that President Yoweri Museveni investigated and found documents presented to Parliament showing he had taken bribes forged.
“The documents were targeting Mr. Clean,” said Mbabazi.
In his submission MP Hussein Kyanjo accused Mbabazi of picking money from Eni promising them a favourable oil deal after Heritage.
But when the Italian company’s bid flopped, Mbabazi was ordered to refund the money, which he got from Tullow Oil since he had already spent it.
Kyanjo asked Mbabazi to give a briefing on a secret meeting with President Zuma's cousin, also attended by one Kabuchu, a businessman from Kigezi and director Mineral Services Limited.
Kyanjo further asked Mbabazi on his links to a company registered as Kenlloyd logistics Uganda Limited and Bank of Mellon in USA.
The Premier tabled a document he alleged was a Memorandum of Understanding of Kenlloyd.
Mbabazi said he met Eni bosses during a dinner with President Jacob Zuma
On Kabuchu, Mbabazi said he was related to him by tribe since he was a ‘mukiga’.
Asked whether the ‘forged’ documents were meant to tarnish his name, Mbabazi responded:
"The best people to ask are those who created those stories. It is a crime under law to utter false documents. It doesn't matter whether you are an MP."
Pressed on whether he would step aside as ordered by Parliament last month to allow smooth investigations, Mbabazi said that was the last thing on his mind.
"I am not likely to step aside because as the speaker said the resolution didn't target the Prime minister. But I want to assure you colleagues that i will not interfere with you proceedings in any way. To tell you the truth, I do not even spend too much time following what happens in the committee."
Our analysts say Mbabazi provided a brilliant defence, while most MPs’ questions were hugely political. The biggest hurdle in nailing Mbabazi is the credibility of the documents.
This news-breaking website can authoritatively reveal that unless MPs get certified documents from a bank where transactions were allegedly made, Mbabazi will go scot-free.
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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