In a legal showdown, Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has taken the government to task over its attempt to establish a monopoly on fuel importation.
Filed before the Anti-Corruption Court, Mabirizi argues that the government’s deal with Vitol Company, without proper bidding, amounts to corruption and unfairly sidelines other capable suppliers.
According to court documents filed on November 10, Mabirizi contends that the government’s decision to grant Vitol Company a fuel import monopoly without a standard bidding process is a violation of Ugandan laws and tantamount to corruption.
Moreover, he asserts that the move infringes on the importation rights of other Ugandans with the capacity to import fuel, derogating their economic rights.
Energy Minister Ruth Nankbirwa, on November 1, presented the Petroleum Supply (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeking to grant Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) the exclusive right to supply imported petroleum products, with Vitol holding the monopoly for five years.
Mabirizi seeks a permanent injunction against the government or any state agency from enforcing the fuel import monopoly granted to Vitol, and he also demands the nullification of the monopoly.
The lawyer argues that such actions are necessary to protect fundamental human rights and the rule of law in Uganda.