News / Africa

Uganda Opposition Leader Decries ‘Corrupt’ Oil Bill

Kizza Besigye speaks to journalists, May 19, 2011, in the yard outside his house shortly after returning home after a confrontation with police, in Kasangati, Uganda.
Kizza Besigye speaks to journalists, May 19, 2011, in the yard outside his house shortly after returning home after a confrontation with police, in Kasangati, Uganda.
James Butty
The leader of Uganda’s main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) said corruption in the government of President Yoweri Museveni is pervasive and systemic.

Kizza Besigye cited as evidence a petroleum bill passed by the parliament, which gives full powers to the Minister of Petroleum to grant and revoke licenses, as well as negotiate and endorse petroleum agreements.  

A House resolution earlier reduced the minister’s powers in administering Uganda’s emerging oil sector.  But, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) used its numerical strength to overturn the resolution.

FDC Besigye said giving that much power to the oil minister leaves no room for public scrutiny and would eventually lead to corruption.

“Corruption is no longer ordinary corruption.  It is systemic; it is pervasive, and it is sanctioned from the highest office of the presidency.  As you know, the oil bill had already been passed by parliament without contention where they were providing some checks and balances on how it would be managed.  It is Mr. Museveni, the president, who ordered that the bill be taken back to parliament and changed to give him power to manage the oil,” he said.

Besigye said the law should have established ample checks and balances to make sure that the temptation to corruption is minimized.

Butty interview with Besigye
Butty interview with Besigyei
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“That’s what the original law that has been torpedoed attempted to do.  It attempted to establish an authority that would be controlled by parliament. Secondly, it is important that the receipts from the oil be put in a separate account that is managed for the development of the country," Besigye said.

But, he added that, as long as Uganda has a government that is not accountable to the people, any good laws will always be overridden by the government.

Senior presidential advisor Kirunda Kivejinja said the Uganda oil bill is no different from what’s done in other countries.

Butty interview with Kivejinja
Butty interview with Kivejinjai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“In the whole of the western world, and all the countries which are producing oil, the one who decides is the minister because he’s the one who’s politically accountable, and ministers don’t act on their own volition," he said. "A good minister should never do things without ascertaining from your technical staff.”

Kivejinja said the opposition should win elections if it wants to have a say in how Uganda is run.

"The question here is that the majority must be able to dictate to the minority.  There is a ruling government, it was mandated, it has the majority in parliament.  That’s the normal way democracy works.  But, you cannot be a minority and then try to impose your views,” he said.

Besigye said his criticism is about how the government is managing the country’s resources and not about sharing power.

“As I have said, the entire parliament of NRM had passed a different law.  It is the president who is not part of the legislature who ordered that the law be returned to parliament and changed, and then started using the usual intimidation and harassment until most members of parliament actually ran away from parliament,” he said.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid