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The East African : December 16th 2013
The EastAfrican NEWS DECEMBER 14-20,2013 OIL KICKBACKS PROBE No incriminating evidence, says committee Th≥ee Ugandan Cabinet ministe≥s we≥e accused of talking b≥ibes in 2011 By HALIMA ABDALLAH Special Correspondent T The committee did not find any evidence that Amama Mbabazi was indeed a patron of Eni in Uganda.” he parliamentary team that was appointed in 2011 to investigate bribery allegations involving major oil companies and three Cabinet ministers has returned a verdict that exonerates the involved parties. But the committee of seven legislators was split into two, ending up with dissenting but inconclusive reports. Authors of the minority report, MPs Hussein Kyanjo and Cecilia Ogwal, criticised the methodology used in the investigations and the legality of the probe. At a special sitting of par- liament on October 10-11, 2011, bribery allegations were made against Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Hillary Onek, the then internal affairs minister (previously energy minister when the bribers were allegedly given) and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The trio allegedly received the bribes to favour Tullow Oil and Italian oil company Eni. “The committee was able to establish that the company called East Africa Development Ltd did not exist in Kenya. In the United Arab Emirates, it was not possible to establish the facts,” reads the majority report, which is expected to be tabled in parliament next week. According to the docu- ments, Aidan Heavey, Tullow Oil’s chief executive, gave powers of attorney to Brian Glover, then Tullow Uganda general manager, authorising him to transfer €16.5 million from Bank of Valetta in Malta to Mr Kutesa, through an account held by East Africa Development Ltd in EFG Private Bank Ltd of London. The money, it is claimed, was drawn from Tullow’s account in transactions that happened within two months. Onek allegedly received €10.5 million in his account at the Emirates Bank in Dubai from Tullow Oil at the Bank of Valetta in Malta. Documents also implicat- ed Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi in fronting Italian oil firm Eni to buy 50 per cent shares from Heritage Oil when the latter offered to sell its oil blocks in Uganda. “The committee did not find any evidence that Rt Hon Amama Mbabazi was indeed a patron of Eni in Uganda. Besides, Eni has never been incorporated in Uganda,” reads the majority report. The parliamentary ad hoc committee, chaired by Michael Werikhe, relied on Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Mr Kutesa, a subject of the same investigation. The committee examined information from the Director of Public Prosecution and the Uganda police, which initially investigated the matter when it first arose in 2010 but whose findings were never made public. Mr Werikhe’s team heard from the Metropolitan Police as well as the Serious Crimes and Fraud Squad of the UK, as well as banks in Malta and New York. Tullow Oil workers at a rig in Buliisa in Uganda. The firms was alleged to have offered a bribe to a minister. Picture: File 15 ALLEGATIONS Western Uganda Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga had tabled documents that detailed money transfers in favour of Mr Onek. Documents also implicated Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi for fronting Eni to buy 50 per cent shares from Heritage Oil. President Yoweri Museveni has persistently said the documents were forgeries.
December 9th 2013
December 23rd 2013