Minister Irene Muloni faces it rough at Parliament following stolen Isimba Dam Bridge construction funds
In a plenary meeting chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga this week, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni faced it rough as legislators pointed figures at her over media reports attributed to her on the alleged Isimba Dam Bridge construction stolen funds.
This follows last week statements made by Speaker Kadaga before Parliament indicating that 24bn Uganda shillings meant for the construction of the bridge with evidence over river Nile joining Kayunga and Kamuli districts was stolen by some government officials.
Reacting to the statement on the alleged claim by the Speaker of Parliament, Minister Muloni dismissed the claim while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday 19, November 2019.
Muloni said that the Ministry is not aware of the swindled funds. According to her statement, the bridge construction failed because the contractor deviated from the initial contract agreement.
“If you have a case, the government here has all institutions’ that can handle all those issues.”Tweet
Now following Muloni’s statement that refuted the claim, furious Kadaga presented evidence before parliament regarding stolen Isimba Dam Bridge construction funds.
Kadaga says that in March this year, she reported the case to president Museveni but she hasn’t yet received any response.
“I have heard what the government has said and I want to give them the following information because I think they don’t have it or they are ignoring it,” Kadaga said before parliament.Tweet
Kadaga insists with evidence that the bridge construction funds were stolen and demanded government to explain why China Water and Electric contractors were kicked out, and reveal the person who kicked them out of the country, even before commissioning of the Isimba Dam project.
She says Isimba Dam construction was meant to go hand in hand with the Kayunga-Kamuli bridge construction which did not happen.
Kadaga adds that a numbery of people led by Bernard Ssajabi and Vincent Nsubuga dragged the contractor and the Attorney General to courts of law under High Court suit number 383 of 2019. She says the case led to the court order, restricting transactions from three bank accounts of China Water and Electric.
According to Kadaga, all these attempts were purposely meant to drag China Water and Electric contractor out, such that these Ministry of Energy officials find a way to steal the bridge funds.
“I want the government to establish who was behind the fictitious cases filed against China Water and Electric, and the Attorney General. The purpose of that suit was actually to close the work of China Water and Electric,” Kadaga said.Tweet
Hon Bernard Atiku, Ayivu County legislator condemned Minister Muloni over her disrespectful statements over the Speaker of Parliament when she referred to her as a liar after exposing the matter.
Legislators say Minister Muloni breached Rule 221 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure by going to portray the person of the Speaker as a liar without informing Parliament where the matter was raised while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre.
“Madam Speaker, I request that you distribute the evidence so that we examine the information and evoke a censure motion if a committee of the whole House finds that the Minister indeed made that statement.”Tweet
Other legislators regardless of their political affiliations demanded that Minister Muloni recalls her statement and makes an apology to the Speaker and the House in particular.
Lwemiyaga County legislator, Theodore Ssekikubo argued that a special investigation committee should be instituted, to investigate her conduct which they referred to as contempt of Parliament and the bridge stolen funds.
“For the minister to try to pour scorn and to hold the office of the Speaker under contempt, means there is a serious problem,” Ssekikubo said.Tweet
Also, legislators said Minister Muloni might have a hand on issues surrounding the bridge construction, which requires an investigation.
However, responding to the claims Minister Muloni said that the statement she issued before the media at Uganda Media Centre was as a result of an instruction from the cabinet. The cabinet asked her to go and give clarification on the matter. She retracted the statement and then apologised to the Speaker.
“If that statement angered you (Speaker), I did not intend to silence you and the Parliament of Uganda, I apologise,” Muloni’s apology.Tweet
After making her apologetic statement, Muloni was not allowed to explain anything concerning the project but was rather instructed by the Speaker to return to Parliament on Tuesday next week the 26, November, to give a comprehensive statement on the project.