Judiciary Advises Parliament to Appeal Oil Bonus court Order

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In short
In a short statement issued today morning, Chief Registrar Paul Gadenya says the Judiciary has noted that Parliament is aggrieved by the decision of the Constitutional Court and advises the institution to appeal the order.

The Judiciary has advised Parliament to challenge a court order, barring legislators from debating handouts to government officials involved in a tax arbitration case between Uganda and Heritage Oil.

The order, issued by Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma on January 9, ordered that any debate on the payment of the six billion Shillings bonus to government officials be halted pending hearing of a petition filed by lawyer Eric Sabiiti.

The officials shared 6 billion Shillings for helping Uganda secure USD 400 million (1.4 trillion Shillings) in capital gains tax from Heritage's sale of its stake to Tullow Oil.

On Tuesday, the injunction was a center of debate in Parliament, promoting the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to direct the Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana to vacate the court order before parliament business can resume.


In a short statement issued today morning, Chief Registrar Paul Gadenya says the Judiciary has noted that Parliament is aggrieved by the decision of the Constitutional Court and advises the institution to appeal the order.

"The action of Parliament is commendable and is in accordance with the rule of law because the law allows any aggrieved party to appeal or challenge the decision in court," Gadenya says in the brief statement. Gadenya further asks the Attorney General to follow the laws and appeal the matter.

"In this case, the Attorney General is at liberty to appeal against the decision of the court by way of reference to a panel of three Justices of the Constitutional Court, and if still dissatisfied, can appeal to the Supreme Court," he adds.

The payment, now referred to the presidential handshake, has attracted sharp criticism from the public, MPs and civil society among other sections of the public.

Yesterday, the anticipated motion, drafted by Mbarara Municipality MP Michael Tusiime was to be debated in the House, calling for a committee to investigate circumstances under which the 6 billion shillings payments were sanctioned.

After the Speaker directed the Attorney General to vacate the order, she also directed that committee and plenary sittings would not commence until the directive has been implemented.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.