Parliament today finally passed the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill, 2012 including the contentious Clause 9 that vests power in the hands of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to issue and revoke licenses to companies wishing to do business in the oil and gas sector.
All the 188 MPs present in the house participated in the voting. Using the roll call method, each of the MP's name was called out and they had to vote 'aye' or 'nay' and the 'aye's' had it. However, a total of 187 were reportedly absent.
Over the last one month, Parliament has been involved in a deadlock with opposition MPs and a minority of MPs from the ruling NRM seeking to vest the powers of issuing and revoking the licences into the hands of an institution like the yet to be established Uganda Petroleum Authority, a stance than was opposed by President Yoweri Museveni.