By Najibu Mulema

The presidential handshake scandal where 42 senior government officials rewarded themselves with shs 6 billion following Uganda Revenue Authority win of a court settlement against a British oil firm known as Tullow oil.

Since the beginning of this year, the oil cash bonanza has caused outrage among Ugandans and the incident left many wondering how the incident happened behind curtains without the public knowing what was transpiring.

The sharing incident did not take place on one day. It was well planned and it involved a process which dated from 17 May, 2015 to December, 2016.

It all started after the done deal of the Court settlement, someone one hatched and nursed the whole idea of the presidential handshake.

On 17 May, 2015, URA Commissioner General (CG), Doris Akol met President Yoweri Museveni at his home in Rwakitura to discuss issues concerning the Handshake.

On 26 June, 2015, wrote to the President explaining in details the philosophy of the handshake.

Then on 16 November, 2015, President Museveni wrote to the minister of finance saying he had met some officials from URA who had a request, and he agreed that shs 6 billion can be rewarded to 42 people but that they should suffer with tax and later Secretary of Treasury (ST) recommended Akol to be the accounting officer for purposes of handshake payout.

On 11 December, 2015, Akol wrote to Secretary of Treasury asking him to effect recommendations to designate her as the accounting officer for the presidential handshake payments.

Still on 25 April, 2016, Akol wrote a letter to the ST reminding him to assign her to her responsibility concerning the handshake.

On 5 May, 2016, Akol wrote to the minister of finance seeking approval to incur supplementary expenditure.
25 May, 2016, ST advises CG that supplementary is okay but for 2016/17 not 2015/16.

On 19 October, 2016, finance minister wrote to Auditor General seeking warrant of approval to transfer funds for the handshake.

On 1 November, 2016, Auditor General issued cautious warrant saying he reserves the right and intention to audit the expenditure fully after it has been incurred.

Finally, in December, 2016, the final action was taken on one request to pay 42 officials shs 6 billion.

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