East Africa

Tullow denies plan to pay off Museveni

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UK oil company, Tullow, last night denied ever mooting a plan to offer an ‘undocumented’ $50 million (Shs130b) payment to President Museveni as a London court heard on Thursday.

Ms Cathy Adengo, the corporate communications manager in Uganda, said “we can state unequivocally that at no time did any Tullow director suggest or consider paying any money directly to President Museveni or to his election campaign.” She added: “All monies paid by Tullow in Uganda to government have been paid through the appropriate authorities.”

Heritage lawyer Kwahar Quereshi told the Commercial in London Court that its rival oil firm’s Exploration director Angus McCoss, suggested in an August 2010 group email to fellow executives, that the firm should pay for an oil licence to “meet the short term needs and demands” of President Museveni, referred in the correspondence by the acronym M7.

State House has kept silent since the allegations emerged five days ago. The events of behind-the-scenes maneuvers in 2010, involving spirited lobbying by top UK government officials, turned to later shape crucial developments in Uganda’s oil sector, particularly renewal of Tullow’s exploration licence that opened the way for entry of CNOOC and Total.

tbutagira@ug.nationmedia.com

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