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Lawyer Mabirizi gives gov’t 21 days to display oil agreements to public

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Lawyer Male Mabirizi has given the government an ultimatum of 21 days to unveil details of the final Agreements for the Lake Albert resources development project signed on Sunday with Tanzania, to the public.

In his letter dated 12th April 2021, Mabirizi has threatened to take legal action against the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development on failure to gain access to the agreements.

The agreements concluded on Sunday in the presence of President Museveni, Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total and other representatives from partners include the Shareholders Agreement of EACOP and the Tariff and Transportation Agreement between EACOP and the Lake Albert oil shippers.

Quoting Article 41 of the Constitution which provides every citizen a right to access information in the possession of the State, Mabirizi says the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy has no option but to grant him access to the signed agreements.

“Paragraphs XXVI and XXIX (a) and (f) of National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy in our Constitution requires that all lawful measures shall be taken to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding political and other public offices,” says Mabirizi in a letter to the Permanent Secretary.

Mabirizi also alleges that there is information linking senior government officials involved in the pipeline project to corruption-related offenses which he says calls for the need to access the agreements to ensure that perpetrators are detected and dealt with as soon as possible.

The Lake Albert development encompasses Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects in Uganda and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania.

The Tilenga project, operated by Total, and the Kingfisher project, operated by CNOOC, are expected to deliver a combined production of 230,000 barrels per day at a plateau. The upstream partners are Total (56.67%), CNOOC (28.33%), and UNOC (15%).

This week, a French oil firm, Total E&P projected Uganda’s first oil export to commence in early 2025 upon completion of construction works.

The production will be transported from the oilfields in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania via EACOP cross-border pipeline, with Total, UNOC, TPDC, and CNOOC as shareholders.

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