Mbabazi Defends Family In Oil Bribery Claims

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In short
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has denied the bribery allegations leveled against him and some members of his family, arguing that as leader of the NRM, he is open and transparent just like the party he represents.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has denied the bribery allegations leveled against him and some members of his family, arguing that as leader of the NRM, he is open and transparent just like the party he represents.
 
Western Uganda youth MP, Gerald Karuhanga yesterday shocked parliament when he mentioned three senior government officials, who allegedly received billions of shillings in bribes from Tullow Oil Uganda.
 
They include Mbabazi, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and former Energy Minister Hillary Onek, who has since moved to internal affairs. Karuhanga wants government to take action against the implicated ministers.
 
He advised President Yoweri Museveni to sack the implicated ministers and institute an independent commission of inquiry into the mass corruption in the oil sector.

While responding to the allegations, Mbabazi was booed moments before Makindye West MP Hussein Kyanjo stood on a point of order. Kyanjo said that there was a rumor that NRM caucus sat on Monday and wondered why the premier was addressing MPs as they were in a caucus meeting. Speaker Kadaga ruled that she should not be addressed or dragged in the caucus business.

But Mbabazi insisted that that the allegations should be investigated and a conclusion drawn.

On the company that owns the park yard used by Tullow, which was said to be owned by Mbabazi’s daughter, Nina Mbabazi, the premier said his family members are not in any way linked to the company. He feigned ignorance as to whether his daughter was the one MP Theodore Sekikubo talked about on Monday.

He said he carried out investigations on his own and found out that a company called Mineral Services Ltd was not owned by his daughter. Mbabazi named its shareholders are Geoffrey Roberts with 300 shares, Patrick Tinbareba, and Kabucu Edward. The Prime Minister said this information came from the registrar of companies.

Serere woman MP Alice Alaso challenged Mbabazi saying there is need for a special audit and check out if Nina Mbabazi’s name does not come out. Amidst boos from MPs, Mbabazi noted that even if his daughter was involved with Tullow oil, he sees no crime.

Mbabazi challenged the documents presented by MP Karuhanga, saying the allegations are not new since the information has been in public domain on the whistle blower site, wikileaks.

Mbabazi read a letter from Tullow Oil, dated 11th October 2011 written by the company chief executive officer. In the letter, Tullow rejects the allegations and warns that if they are repeated outside parliament, the oil company will take legal action.

Felix Ogot Ogong, the Dokolo County MP disagreed with the manner the premier was tabling letters from Tullow. He said Tullow is a prime suspect in the matter and does not need to write through the Prime minister. Betty Amongi also questioned how the letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament got into the hands of the prime minister. She demanded that all the ministers implicated in the oil scam declare their interest to the house. She questioned whether Mbabazi was a lawyer of Tullow.

In response, Kadaga said she had just received the letter while chairing the meeting and asked the clerk to scrutinize the contents of the letter.