Uganda Watch: Parliament Passes Oil Bill in Stealth Session

Earlier in the week, Parliament spokeswoman Helen Kawesa told me that Parliament would not meet today (Friday). There is no order paper at the Parliament website. However, the MPs did meet and passed an oil bill that gives much power to the executive branch. Blogger Jim Burroway alerted me to this fact and Reuters has the details:

KAMPALA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Ugandan lawmakers passed new legislation on Friday meant to regulate the country’s emerging oil sector but critics said the law would invest too much control in the hands of the executive.

The Reuters’ report highlights the lack of transparency which the bill allows.

Burroway believes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will now distract the MPs and the public away from the bad oil legislation. He believes this is by design and directed by President Museveni’s executive branch. The clearest effect of the action on the oil bill is that it moves the Anti-Homosexuality Bill closer to consideration on the floor. Burroway may be correct when he argues that the anti-gay bill will generate so much attention that most will forget about the power grab just completed by the executive branch with the collusion of the ruling party in Parliament. ┬áIt is not that the executive branch actually wants the bill to pass. However, it may be that generating loud controversy over the bill is the real aim.

However, those in Parliament who do want the bill to pass are a step closer to their objective now that the oil bill is out of the way.

 

12 thoughts on “Uganda Watch: Parliament Passes Oil Bill in Stealth Session”

  1. Apparently, Miss Kadaga ‘fled’ again yesterday: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/637960-why-speaker-left-oil-debate-to-her-deputy.html

    Packing for her foreign junket (she went to Italy today, back the latter part of next week, I’m told), perhaps? Stocking up on that turquoise eye-shadow? Reading the Red Pepper with curlers in her hair? Contemplating her future[?] in UG politics?

    I’d be absolutely fascinated to know what ‘Maazi NCO’ makes of all this! Are you there, ‘Maazi’? Cooooeeeee!

  2. It may be, of course, that the ‘secret session’ was simply slotted in to get the oil bill through before anyone could protest. (Of course, it is true that loud, diversionary ‘hoo-hah’ over Bahati could well be useful to M7 & Co at this point.)

  3. I’d say Jim is quite correct. I wonder how those conservatives who were praising Museveni for his prayers last week or so, now feel about this legislation that will allow for executive graft in the oil game.

  4. It isn’t a ‘Christmas Panto’, of course – it’s a big mess.

    I, like many others, think that the form of the ‘oil bill’ just passed is not optimal for UG’s oil industry. As for the Bahati Bill: well, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – the Bill is proving to be the proverbial ‘tar baby’; those who embrace it seem to end up getting ‘stuck’.

    In another development, Rick Warren has apparently condemned the Bill: http://global.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-condemns-uganda-anti-gay-bill-after-faith-lgbt-groups-call-for-response-86289/

    The article in CP seems very confused, but one sees a positive aspect in the assertion that Rick Warren opposes “the criminalization of homosexuality,” and calls the Bill “unjust.”

  5. It’s a very complex situation – that’s for sure.

    I’m not surprised by the ‘stealth session’. After I heard that the NRM Caucus was going to back ‘Clause 9’, I suspected that something like this might happen.

    There’s another ‘oil bill’ to go, I think – unless that was also put through ‘on the nod’ on Friday.

  6. It isn’t a ‘Christmas Panto’, of course – it’s a big mess.

    I, like many others, think that the form of the ‘oil bill’ just passed is not optimal for UG’s oil industry. As for the Bahati Bill: well, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – the Bill is proving to be the proverbial ‘tar baby’; those who embrace it seem to end up getting ‘stuck’.

    In another development, Rick Warren has apparently condemned the Bill: http://global.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-condemns-uganda-anti-gay-bill-after-faith-lgbt-groups-call-for-response-86289/

    The article in CP seems very confused, but one sees a positive aspect in the assertion that Rick Warren opposes “the criminalization of homosexuality,” and calls the Bill “unjust.”

  7. Apparently, Miss Kadaga ‘fled’ again yesterday: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/637960-why-speaker-left-oil-debate-to-her-deputy.html

    Packing for her foreign junket (she went to Italy today, back the latter part of next week, I’m told), perhaps? Stocking up on that turquoise eye-shadow? Reading the Red Pepper with curlers in her hair? Contemplating her future[?] in UG politics?

    I’d be absolutely fascinated to know what ‘Maazi NCO’ makes of all this! Are you there, ‘Maazi’? Cooooeeeee!

  8. It may be, of course, that the ‘secret session’ was simply slotted in to get the oil bill through before anyone could protest. (Of course, it is true that loud, diversionary ‘hoo-hah’ over Bahati could well be useful to M7 & Co at this point.)

  9. It’s a very complex situation – that’s for sure.

    I’m not surprised by the ‘stealth session’. After I heard that the NRM Caucus was going to back ‘Clause 9’, I suspected that something like this might happen.

    There’s another ‘oil bill’ to go, I think – unless that was also put through ‘on the nod’ on Friday.

  10. I’d say Jim is quite correct. I wonder how those conservatives who were praising Museveni for his prayers last week or so, now feel about this legislation that will allow for executive graft in the oil game.

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