By Henry Sekanjako
KAMPALA, July 14– The Ugandan Parliament’s Appointments Committee has rejected nominations by the president for Makerere University don Dr. Immaculate Ssemmanda Nakimera to be head of the National Petroleum Authority of Uganda (NPA).
The committee, which is chaired by Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, also rejected the nomination of Naomi Lumutenga to be one of the nominated members of the NPA.
The two appointees are among the members nominated for the National Petroleum Authority of Uganda and the National Oil Company (NOC) by President Yoweri Museveni.
Sources who attended the closed-door appointments committee meeting last Friday, which started at 11am and ended at 11pm, intimated to New Vision that the committee had rejected the proposed NPA chairperson and one of her members on different grounds.
“Even if she has all the qualities and qualifications, we found her not assertive enough to head Uganda’s pioneer petroleum authority and also to withstand corrupt officials,” said a source on the committee.
Another source, however, told New Vision that the committee proposed that Nakimera be retained as a member rather than be made chairperson of the authority.
“She could be having the qualifications, but this is beyond qualifications; she does not have the exposure, so as a committee, we doubt her ability to handle such an authority,” said a source.
As for the rejection of Lumutenga, the committee noted that none of her qualifications was related to the oil industry. “When you look at her qualifications there is nothing to do with oil and the job she has been appointed to do,” the source told New Vision.
Meanwhile the committee approved eleven members for both the NPA and NOC, including Emmanuel Katongole as the chairperson of the NOC.
Katongole had earlier faced resistance from different stakeholders who accused him of mismanaging Quality Chemicals. He was, however, cleared by the committee on Friday evening.
“Much as there were concerns over his appointment, he was cleared by the IGG, and trust me the man is good, he is a business person with lots of experience, he is exposed, he even wrote a book on oil which he shared with us; he will do a good job,” the source said.
Speaking to journalists at parliament after his approval, Katongole said: “I am very sure Ugandans will benefit from the oil resource, all we need to do is put what is on paper into practice”.
The committee is currently working on a report for the president regarding the results of the vetting process which stayed the approval of NPA nominee member Peter Lominit who is currently out of the country on official duties.
Some of the National Petroleum Authority of Uganda members who were approved by the committee included Reuben Kashambuzi, Doreen Kabasindi Wandera, Kiryowa Kiwanuka and Prof. Sunday Steven Tokodri Togboa.
Those approved for the National Oil Company of Uganda are Godfrey Andama, Francis Nagimesi, Stella Maris Biwaga, Grace Tubwita, Eng. Irene Pauline Batembe and Francis Twinamatsiko as members.
The petroleum authority and National Oil Company are provided for in the Petroleum (exploration, development and production) Act, 2013.
SOURCE: NEW VISION