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Legislators Pin Akol as Oil Cash Probe Begins

Two legislators who lobbied parliament to investigate how government officials shared six billion Shillings have faulted the Uganda Revenue Authority URA Commissioner General for irregularly effecting payments.
A session in the Ugandan parliament

Audio 3

Two legislators who lobbied parliament to investigate how government officials shared six billion Shillings have faulted the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General for irregularly effecting payments.

                 

MPs Micheal Tusiime for Mbarara Municipality and Wilfred Niwagaba who represents Ndorwa East, said that Doris Akol violated the Anti-Corruption Act, Finance Act and the Leadership Code while effecting payments to 42 government officials.

The legislators appeared before parliament's committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) chaired by Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu.

During the meeting, Akol was singled out for criticism by the MPs arguing that she compiled the list of beneficiaries and oversaw the distribution of money to the officials who were categorized under core, non – core and support staff.

MP Tusiime said that the method through which the reward was initiated by Akol raises serious ethical issues and might be bordering on the offence of corruption under the Anti-Corruption Act.

He added that Akol's action of writing letters requesting to be made the Accounting Officer of the six billion Shillings violated the Public Finance Management Act which stipulated that the Secretary to Treasury be in charge of appointing accounting officers.

MP Niwagaba on his part explained that under the Public Finance Act, an accounting officer is defined as a person who is designated by the Secretary to Treasury to be responsible for a particular vote.

He added that the URA Commissioner General administered the abuse of the Act by using petroleum revenues without a Parliamentary resolution.

English

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Akol is expected to appear before the Committee tomorrow to explain the payments which the 42 government officials received and the criteria she used to compile the list.

COSASE chairperson Abdu Katuntu outlined other government officials that are set to appear before his committee including the president who extended the handshake.

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Last week, President Yoweri Museveni broke the silence on the matter and defended the now controversial payment in bonuses to 42 public officials who represented Uganda in an international tax oil dispute with Heritage Oil.

Museveni told a caucus of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party that the reward was deliberate.