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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid