By Najibu Mulema
In June 2015, a protracted legal battle over capital gains tax between Uganda Revenue Authority and Tullow oil esulted into a settlement of Sh824 billion.
After a successful court settlement of shs824 billion by the Uganda Revenue Authority against a British oil firm, Tullow oil, senior government officials rewarded themselves with shs 6 billion for their role in facilitating the successful settlement.
Now a section of Members of parliament have come out to say that the move was illegal and a wastage of taxpayers money.
Gerald Karuhanga, the Ntungamo Municipality MP, who was one of the witnesses to the court hearings in London that preceded the settlement, says its baffling why money should be paid to government officials.
Karuhanga says government had already released a payment of Shs10 billion to pay the lawyers that represented it, which should have been enough to cater for any work done to win the case.
Karuhanga says those involved should be held culpable for accepting an illegal payment, ostensibly for doing the jobs they were hired and paid salaries to do.
As a result of the MPs’ concerns, the Auditor General, John Muwanga, promised to investigate the payments and deliver his findings to parliament. Some lawmakers said they will petition the Speaker of Parliament and they have demanded for a probe into what they call a ‘dubious payment’.
Some of the officials who received payment are; Doris Akol, who is currently the URA Commissioner General; former Attorney General Peter Nyombi; the deceased ministry of finance permanent secretary, Chris Kassami; and the former Deputy Attorney General, Freddie Ruhindi. Others are KCCA executive director, Jeniffer Musisi, who previously served as the head of URA’s legal department, Lawrence Kiiza, a senior official in the ministry of Finance and the, Solicitor General Francis Atoke.