By Henry Sekanjako and Paul Kiwuuwa
MPs on the parliamentary committee on natural resources have summoned the Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, over the procurement of a constructor for the proposed $2.2 b (sh5 trillion) Karuma hydro-power project.
This follows a letter dated October 2, he wrote to the energy minister, Irene Muloni, asking her not to disclose the details of the procurement process of the project contractor, saying it would be contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal Assets (PPDA) Act.
The committee which Thursday prematurely threw out the energy state minister, Simon D’ujanga, over failure to satisfactorily answer most of the queries regarding the power project addressed to the ministry.
There were allegations that the project was being dogged by corruption and other scandals, thus frustrating its start.
“The Attorney General wrote a letter asking the minister not to discuss any information to the committee. This is a very serious offence.
“There is connivance to rob this country of its resources,” said Maria Nankabirwa, the MP for Kyankwanzi.
In his letter dated October 2, to Irene Muloni, Nyombi stated that: “This is to advise you to appear before the natural resources committee as requested. You don’t have to disclose the details of the procurement process which would be contrary to the PPDA Act.”
According to the committee chairman, Michael Werikhe, the committee wanted to interact with the Attorney General and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDAA) to get information regarding the procurement process which had made some stakeholders in the project to go to court.
“Much as the minister says the case is before court, we need a legal opinion over this from the Attorney General,” said Werikhe.
Minister D’Ujanga yesterday failed to convince the legislators on the committee about many of the issues that they raised to the Ministry of Energy like the breach of section 47 of the PPDA Act.
The minister angered the MPs when he refused to mention a private citizen that had sued the Government over the Karuma contract, saying, the matter was before court and discussing it would be subjudice.
“What would be subjudice, knowing someone who took us to court? As Ugandans, we are entitled to know why we are in court,” said Yorokamu Katwiremu, the MP for Sheema North.
Reagan Okumu, the Aswa county MP, suggested that the minister goes back and returns to the committee with the Attorney General.