Former Minister Bumba: “I didn't Know I was Signing a Tax Waiver

3221 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
In her testimony before the Committee, Bbumba said she endorsed the agreements without reading through because she didnt have expert knowledge on the Production Sharing Agreements.

Former Energy Minister, Syda Bbumba signed off the US $157M Tullow Oil Tax waiver without reading the Production Sharing agreements. 



She disclosed this while appearing before the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprise (COSASE) in parliament this afternoon.

 
COSASE is investigating that Shillings 6 billion cash bonus given to 42 public servants for their role in the Heritage Oil tax arbitration case. The Committee is also investigating the legality of the approximately Shillings 500 billion tax waiver.

 
In her testimony before the Committee, Bbumba said she endorsed the agreements without reading through because she didn't have expert knowledge on the Production Sharing Agreements.


//Cue in: "Because did you...

Cue out...i followed that"//
 

Bbumba served as the Energy Minister between 2006 and 2008 at a period when Uganda's oil sector was yet in its initial stages. She included a clause in the Production Sharing Agreement that allowed Tullow Oil and Gas company to have a US $157m tax waiver for an out of court settlement.

 
Pressed by the COSASE Chairman, Abdu Katuntu, on why she could sign such an important document without going through, Bbumba said she was surrounded by competent people.


//Cue in: "There were so...

Cue out:...most competent people"//



In his response, Katuntu said it was unfortunate that the minister signed the agreement without reading it. He says the committee will sit and review Bbumba's evidence and see how to make a policy recommendation on people who hold authority and can waive taxes.


//Cue in: "The record is...

Cue out:...attorney general chambers"//

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.