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Prime Minister joins ‘Clause 9’ debate with plagiarised article

Image: the webpage Hon. Mbabazi plagiarised

Web page where Hon. Mbabazi, or his assistants, found the material to cut and paste into his New Vision article

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged MPs to vote in favour of extensive executive power over oil in a lengthy New Vision newspaper article,  most of which is plagiarised from an essay on The Politics of Oil and Water sold online by www.docstoc.com.

The premier’s main argument, which appears in the closing paragraphs of the 1,600 word New Vision opinion piece, is that the Petroleum Authority, as industry regulator, should not both issue licences for exploration and production and at the same time enforce industry standards. This, he says, “tantamounts to one checking oneself!” Hon. Mbabazi, who is considered a possible successor to President Yoweri Museveni, also complains that “removing the Minister [from licensing decisions] is tantamount to removing the President from control of the oil resource.”

These arguments are prefaced by 1,000 words that range broadly and knowledgeably over the geopolitics and economics of oil. The author, it appears, really knows what he is talking about.

However, a simple Google search (cutting and pasting entire paragraphs of the New Vision text into the search engine) reveals that these 1,000 words were not penned by Hon. Mbabazi. They were published on November 12, 2012, by www.docstoc.com, a commercial aggregator and retailer of information. The original essay may be viewed here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/135383944/The-Politics-of-Oil-and-Water

It is common practice for senior politicians in most jurisdictions to rely on researchers and special advisers to draft articles and speeches for them, especially when touching upon specialist topics.

Cutting and pasting from the Internet is a less common practice among senior politicians and, in most jurisdictions, an infringement of copyright laws.

Report by NY