Chaos as MPs Protest Over Oil Bill

1953 Views

In short
Odonga Otto, the Aruu County MP asked the rationale behind changing a clause that will affect the whole bill after all the efforts they have put in to get the bill where it is.

Confusion ensued in parliament on Tuesday afternoon over the recommittal of clause 9 in the petroleum exploration, development and production bill.

It all started after MPs opposed to the recomittal of the clause that gives the energy minister powers to negotiate petroleum agreements, grant and revoke licenses failed to persuade the Speaker and the house against voting on the issue. Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa East MP said amending clause nine would affect 80 percent of the entire bill that would mean redrafting it. Odonga Otto, the Aruu County MP asked the rationale behind changing a clause that will affect the whole bill after all the efforts they have put in to get the bill where it is.
 
Medard Segona, the Busiro East MP suggested that the matter be refered back to the natural resources committee, but NRM leaning MPs shot down the proposal.

The MPs who were in favour of recommitting the clause demanded that parliament continues and guide them by voting on the motion. Moses Balyeku, the Jinja West MP said the country can't lag behind because of less that 10 people and suggested the matter be put to vote because they have heard the debate several times.

Eventually all the MPs stood up in protest with those against the recommittal of the clause shouting “our oil no vote” while those in favor of shouted “we vote”. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s attempts to call MPs to order fell on deaf ears as the whole house stood up shouting forcing her to adjourn business for 15 minutes.

//cue in: “Order...
Cue out: ...for 15 minutes.”//

Niwagaba explained to URN outside the plenary that what happened couldn’t be prevented because Ugandans are tired of what he called broad day robbery. He said the debate should have been left to go on because people can’t vote on something they don’t know. Mohammed Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP wondered why NRM that has the majority in the house is scared. He asked the speaker to allow people to express themselves. Fred Ruhindi, the Deputy Attoney General described the situation as unfortunate. He said having a situation like that in parliament is regrettable adding that MPs should have followed the rules of procedure and moved a motion instead of causing chaos.

The bill had got to the stage of the third reading last week, when energy minister Irene Muloni moved a motion to recommit clause nine of the bill which had earlier on been amended to give the roles of negotiation of petroleum agreements, granting and revoking of licenses to the petroleum authority. During her presentation, Muloni said the roles are very sensitive and should be given to someone who is accountable to the people.
 

 

Tagged with: mps oil debate