Fresh correspondences emerging indicate that President Museveni and Doris Akol, the Commissioner General Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), were the architects of the Shs 6b reward that was christened the “Presidential Handshake” and shared amongst the 42 government officials.
Museveni met Akol at his country home in Rwakitura on May 17th 2015 and it was agreed that a reward be packaged for the 42 government officials that had put up a stellar defence of Uganda against Heritage Oil and Gas.
Museveni tasked Akol with devising the sum and the mode of payment, effectively giving the URA Commissioner General a chance to sign a blank cheque for the 42 government officials, including herself.
With the President’s blessings, Akol decided that the 42 government officials would share amongst themselves Shs 6b,a payment that has now irked Parliament and ordinary Ugandans struggling to make ends meet in a tight economy.
Akol then went into overdrive, pencilling directives to the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija and Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi ordering them to find a supplementary Shs 6b to bankroll the “akasimo” for the 42 officials.
In her defence of the “Presidential Handshake”, she told the President that the Shs 6b was enough to hold the 42 officials “leave a legacy that will remind them and their children.”
“I believe it will be motivation sufficient for them to gallantly face future challenges and bring victory to our nation,”Akol wrote.
She ordered that the the Shs 6b be re-allocated from the URA Tax Refund Budget to the URA Expenditure budget to clear the beneficiaries expeditiously.
The payments also sucked in the Auditor General John Muwanga, who counselled that it was okay for the cash to be doled out on grounds that he would do a “post-audit”.
Information sucking Museveni into the messy payments will come as a blow to MPs and detectives at the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) who have been banking on the hopes that the President may send the implicated senior government officials packing.
Below is URA letter to the President.