The Independent (Kampala)

11 October 2011

Uganda: Top Ministers Took Bribes From Tullow Oil - Parliament Told

Photo: The Daily Nation
An oil field near Lake Albert in western Uganda.

Uganda's Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi and two other ministers have allegedly benefited from bribes from oil companies, parliament heard yesterday at a critical debate about the country's nascent oil sector.

A jam parked parliament that had been recalled from recess heard that Mbabazi, Sam Kuteesa, the minister for foreign affairs and Hillary Onek, the minister for internal affairs allegedly benefited from billions of bribes from oil company, Tullow Oil Plc.

The allegations were made by MP Gerald Karuhanga who tabled a document Brief on Uganda's Oil deals in which alleged details of dates and transactions through which the bribes were paid.

Karuhanga said he was in parliament to act like a whistle blower. He was presenting a motion prayer number 4 of a motion by Rwemiyaga MP Theodere Sekikubo that seeks to set up a commission of inqiuiry to investigate some officials have been given kickbacks from the oil players.

Here is what MP Karuhanga told parliament;

Kutesa

Kutesa through his company East African Development company Kenya received £17m (over Shs.70bn)through his bank called EFK in Zurich. The money was leaving a Tullow account 40037242019 in a bank in Malta...through a recipient bank in UAE Dubai

Following this Kutesa requested a point of order which the speaker Rebecca Kadaga granted him.

"Karuhanga has alleged that I received money through my company called East Africa Development and that the money went into an account that belongs to me in Zurich," he said amidst jeers and heckling by the enraged MPs. "Is it in order to use this House and the privileges it attaches to members to tell falsehoods and utter defamatory statements which are false well knowing that he can't repeat them outside this chamber?"

Kutesa also said that the documents Karuhanga was relying on were forged, have been making rounds in this city and that he had some of them. A charged Karuhanga challenged Kutesa to table the documents he had and said that he could repeat the statements he was making outside the chambers.

Onek

• Showing bank statements, Karuhanga said that Onek on June 21,received £ 500,000 from Tullow on account 4003724191 from the same back to Dubai

• another 500,000 on his account 0034450627007 in a Dubai bank on July 6,

• another 500,000 same bank on July 17, 2010

• Onek received 1.5m on the same account same day.

• And another 3m on the same account on August 10, 2010

Mbabazi

Karuhanga said that an officer of the American Embassy wrote that Tullow VP for Africa indentified the security minister then Mbabazi, and Energy Minister Onek benefited from Tullow. Karuhanga adds that various embassies wrote to Museveni calling for investigation of ministers like Mbabazi and Onek. Judge Billy Kainamura, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi are also on the list of alleged beneficiaries.

MP Barnabas Tinkasimire thanked Karuhanga giving such information and spilled more information. He said: "there is a man called John Molley who is a truck driver in the oil fields, running a company called SLL that manages and controls the constriction of the camp, where each worker is charged $ 92 - 95 to live in that camp. I understand he has a very close relationship with the Hon Minister seated in front of me here- his name is Sam Kutesa." Tinkasimire also faulted Onek for influencing the employment of three of his relatives in the oil Tullow.

Kutesa and two other ministers including former Ministry of Works and now NRM chief whip John Nasasira are set to appear before the Anti-Corruption Court on Oct.13 over other corruption charges relating to the misuse of Shs14 billion in Common Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) funds.

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