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Judiciary Advises Parliament to Appeal Oil Bonus court Order

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.
Paul Gadenya statement on Oil Bonus Fracas
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.

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