Transparency and access to information will be the key demands and objectives of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CISCO) under its newly elected Chair, Irene Sekyana.
“We want to see how the coalition can be broadened out to reach grass roots people in the oil producing areas because they are vulnerable and they will be impacted most by oil and gas development” Ms. Sekyana told Oil in Uganda. “We want to reach these people and give them information and then see how they can use that to advocate for having their rights respected—property rights, land rights, environmental rights and social rights.” Read More
Some MPs and NGOs “acting on behalf of foreign interests” are “trying to cripple and disorient the development of Uganda’s oil sector,” President Yoweri Museveni told parliament yesterday in a combative address that played strongly to nationalistic sentiment but also proclaimed “science” as the beacon of government policy on oil.
MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Nuwagaba and Abdu Katuntu were singled out for personal mention and attack in the two-hour presidential address. “What they are doing is an unforgivable sin. It is sacrilege. To stand here and use the forum of Parliament which I created for you, through sacrificing blood, is unacceptable” Mr. Museveni said of the small group of MPs who had voted against the government’s proposals for structuring and regulating the oil industry. Read More
The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has awarded three Uganda journalists and recognised two others for their reporting on the oil and gas industry.
Patience Atuhaire from the Uganda Radio Network carried the broadcast category prize for her piece Will Ugandan technicians get oil jobs?, while the New Vision’s Gerald Tenywa won the print category for his article How prepared is NEMA for oil waste?
The Monitor’s Isaac Imaka was the overall runner-up. Read More
Uganda’s Petroleum (Exploration, Development, Production) Bill completed its stormy passage through parliament on December 7 when the Deputy Speaker finally brought the matter to a vote, after a fortnight of intense lobbying and extra-parliamentary debate on contentious clauses.
The controversial Clause 9, which gives control over exploration and production licensing to the minister in charge of petroleum, is retained in the final version of the bill, which also establishes a national oil company to advance the state’s commercial interests in the oil sector, and a Petroleum Authority as the industry regulator. Read More
President Yoweri Museveni’s struggle to assert his authority over ruling party MPs may finally bear fruit today as parliament moves yet again to vote on the controversial Clause 9 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development, Production) Bill, after weeks of fractious debate and procedural impasse.
According to MPs, the president has himself been contacting them by telephone to muster support for re-introducing Clause 9, which gives the minister in charge of petroleum—and, in effect, the president himself—decisive powers to award and revoke exploration and production licenses.
It is not known whether these conversations include the offer of financial rewards for political obedience, but some political observers regard this as a characteristic feature of President Museveni’s recent rule. Read More
A defiant Parliament yesterday again refused to vote on the controversial Clause 9 of the Petroleum Bill it has been debating for the last month, but agreed to stand-over the clause for one more day to allow both sides to study a compromise position.
It emerged that Energy Minister, Hon. Irene Muloni, together with some key MPs from the ruling and opposition parties had met at length on Monday and agreed on a ‘win-win’ position to propose to the House. Read More
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged MPs to vote in favour of extensive executive power over oil in a lengthy New Vision newspaper article, most of which is plagiarised from an essay on The Politics of Oil and Water sold online by www.docstoc.com.
The premier’s main argument, which appears in the closing paragraphs of the 1,600 word New Vision opinion piece, is that the Petroleum Authority, as industry regulator, should not both issue licences for exploration and production and at the same time enforce industry standards. This, he says, “tantamounts to one checking oneself!” Hon. Mbabazi, who is considered a possible successor to President Yoweri Museveni, also complains that “removing the Minister [from licensing decisions] is tantamount to removing the President from control of the oil resource.” Read More
The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has said she will not reconvene the House until MPs who allegedly disrupted proceedings on Wednesday, as a vote was about to passed over the controversial Clause 9 of a bill to regulate the petroleum sector, are punished for indiscipline.
Hon. Kadaga has ordered the parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to review the matter and report back to her by Monday so that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against lawmakers considered guilty of fanning the fracas in the debating chamber. Read More
“No vote! Our oil!” chanted a section of the House.
“Let’s Vote!” chorused another.
The Speaker’s chair vacant, the Sergeant at Arms and his assistants jealously guarded the Mace, the symbol of parliamentary power, as some members of the opposition appeared to be making a move for it.
This was the dramatic scene that played out in a fully-packed parliament yesterday as Uganda’s law makers clashed over whether to vote on re-introducing Clause 9 of a draft oil bill, giving sweeping powers to the minister in charge of oil. Read More
As MPs gathered in Uganda’s parliament this afternoon to debate a bill that will structure and regulate the oil sector, police on the gates were busily refusing entry to activists who wanted to the watch the debate from the public gallery—until rescue for the citizens’ rights came from the intervention of a prominent cleric.
Shortly before 2 pm Oil in Uganda found a despondent huddle of barred activists at the parliamentary gate. According to Henry Bazira, chairperson of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas, police had told them the public gallery was “full.” Read More