Parliament Handshake Investigation Period Expires

CAA officials meeting with COSACE Mps on Friday

The two months period that was given to the Parliamentary Committee investigating the infamous Shs 6bn handshake cash bonanza has expired, more about and the members are seeking extra time.

On 19th January 2017, price Parliament resolved to investigate the manner in which 42 senior and junior government officials already on payroll awarded themselves hundreds of millions for their efforts during the tax battle between Uganda and the British oil giant, drug Heritage Oil and Gas Company.

The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga who chaired the house, gave the Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises Committee (COSASE) two months to finalize on the probe and report back to the whole house.

According to the Rules of Procedures, committees have 45 days to handle a matter, write a report and get back to the whole house.

The peculiarity of the handshake that had posed a strong contention between the Legislature and the Judiciary, made Kadaga give the committee exception of 15 more days.

The committee chaired by the Bugweri County, Abdu Katuntu, started its work by grilling the officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority led by the Commissioner General Doris Akol.

URA collected the USD$ 696m from the oil companies and also championed the initiating, allocation and the final payment of Shs 6bn to the 42 beneficiaries.

The Committee has already met the officials from Bank of Uganda, Energy and Mineral Development ministry, Finance and Justice Ministries.

The probe period expired on Monday this week but the committee is yet to meet President Yoweri Museveni and the foreign lawyers in London.

There is also still another sets ofs pending meeting with the officials from ministries of Finance, Energy and Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

According to Katuntu, unpreparedness by the government officials in most cases is to blame for the delay and the consequent expiry of the period.

“These officials are at times not fully prepared when they appear before the committee even when the terms of references sent to them prior to the meeting are clear,” Katuntu told our reporter.

The committee has now asked for one more month to complete the work.


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