Opposition MPs petition Speaker over Roko deal

The Opposition in Parliament has petitioned Speaker Anita Among challenging a vote on the proposed government purchase of preference shares in Roko Construction Limited.

The petition written by Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga and endorsed by 32 MPs followed a Friday Opposition Caucus meeting in which they discussed the procedure used by the House on Thursday evening to approve the government purchase of 150,000 preference shares in Roko worth sh 202 billion.

Speaking after the caucus meeting, LOP Mpuuga said that they had offered leadership to petition the entire House to deliberate on the decision of the presiding officer so that history can capture them rightly.

“We don’t want to be misrepresented as part of a conspiracy to defraud the public. Assuming Roko is deserving and I want to believe so like any other company that would probably need help, we want to do it lawfully and neatly,” he said.

The Nyendo-Mukungwe MP noted that they won’t not allow anybody to overrun parliament.

By Friday evening, the Speaker’s office had received a notice from Mpuuga to move a motion on Tuesday next week to review the decision of Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa.

“Pursuant to Rules 56 and 87 (2) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, take notice that I intend to move a motion for the House to review the decision of the Deputy Speaker on the proposal by the government of Uganda to acquire 150,000 preference shares in Roko Construction Limited worth approximately sh207.13 billion,” reads a notice signed by Mpuuga.

The motion seen by Uganda Radio Network- URN wants parliament to resolve that the decision by the Deputy Speaker to put a vote on the government proposal contravened the rules of procedure and that it should be reviewed by the House.

He also seeks to have the Minister of Finance report back to parliament as directed by Speaker, Among detailing action taken and measures put in place on whether to give a loan or grant to Roko.

Mpuuga also wants the House to vote on both the majority and minority reports of the committee of finance on the proposal to acquire shares in Roko and that the question be properly put on whether the House should approve or disapprove the proposal by the government.

The motion is seconded by Butambala County MP, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi and the Bukonzo West MP, Atkins Katusabe.

A vote on the proposed government purchase of preference shares in Roko was made on Thursday amidst commotion in Parliament as a section of legislators raised objections.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa had told MPs that Roko would cease operations if the government proposal for the purchase of 150,000 preference shares had not been approved.

As they objected to the procedures, Tayebwa announced that the Ayes had taken the day, thus approving the purchase of preference shares in Roko Construction Limited.

The same approval had been delayed on Wednesday awaiting a report on actions and measures taken by the Finance Minister from concerns raised earlier by the Finance Committee, a minority report, and parliament MPs.

In his report to Parliament, the Finance Committee Chairperson Kefa Kiwanuka recommended that Roko should be expeditiously audited, as a condition precedent to signing the Share Subscription Agreement by the Auditor General to particularly look at and certify the material assets, debtors, creditors, governance and management.


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