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 US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora