By Kagenyi Luuka
The parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and state enterprises ( COSASE) will effective Wednesday start the much awaited probe into the auditor general’s report on defunct commercial banks (1993-2017).
BoU officials including its under-fire deputy governor, Louis Kasekende will be grilled about the gross irregularities that bedevilled the closure and sale of commercial banks as cited by Mr. John Muwanga in his 94 page report.
One of the defunct commercial banks that COSASE is set to keenly probe is crane bank Limited(cbl) formerly owned by City property Mogul,Dr Sudhir Ruparelia.
My attention has thus been drawn to this committee.
The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is one of the standing committees of the parliament of Uganda and its functions are well laid down in the rules of procedure of parliament 154(1a-d).
Its functions include; a) To examine the reports and audited accounts of Statutory Authorities, Corporations and Public Enterprises and in the context of their autonomy and efficiency, ascertain whether their operations are being managed in accordance with the required competence and where applicable, in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices
- b) to examine the income and expenditure of any public corporation and state enterprise, or other body or organization established by an Act of Parliament together with the Balance Sheet and Statement of Profit and Loss Accounts which the Auditor General may have been requested to prepare under the Constitution or under the provisions of statutory orders regulating the financing of a particular corporation, enterprise or body and the report of the Auditor-General on them;
(c) to examine the statement of accounts showing the income and expenditure of a statutory body or organization, the audit of which may be conducted by the Auditor General either under the direction of the President in accordance with clause (7) of Article 163 of the Constitution or by any Act of Parliament; and (d) subject to the Constitution and to these Rules, to monitor the operations of any Commission or Authority established under the Constitution or any Act of parliament.
COSASE therefore plays a significant oversight role over state Authorities and Enterprises.
This committee has of late been extolled and panegyrized by the public, it has won hearts of hearts of many especially after it openly grilled officials from Uganda Revenue Authority that were involved in the golden hand shake scandal.
The officials who were quizzed to sweat include but aren’t limited to; Doris Akol the URA commissioner general, Hon. Matia Kasaija,URA board members, and secretary to the treasury, Keith Muhakanizi.
The Committee which is chaired by the long serving Bugweri MP, Abdul Katuntu among others recommended that implicated officials should return the money.
By openly conducting its sessions, the committee set its bar high and can’t afford to lose its biting jaws.
As we wait for the appearance of BoU officials before COSASE with abated breath, loose, malicious and diversionary messages have been circulated through social media indicating that some members including its apt Chair had been bribed to give hard time to Louis Kasekende.
The authors and propagators of these lies act under the cover of pseudonyms (thanks to social media) and trying to mudsling the committee’s public image, intimidate bold members from asking tough questions and demanding tough but convincing answers.
If one knows that she/he has credible evidence that members are being compromised, why can’t they move to the Igg, police, or the speaker of parliament and report as opposed to using social media?
Why didn’t the MP’s get compromised when they investigated the golden handshake?
Finally, I implore all Members of parliament on the COSASE not to be diverted but rather seek to restore the glory of the central bank and the banking sector. Those found to have acted incompetently, fraudulently and negligently should face the law.
Whether Kasekende or Bagyenda is criminally liable, the law should take its course because Uganda can’t afford to witness another scandal with highly paid elites at BoU watching and not being liable.
The author is the next Ikiiki MP, a socio-political and economic analyst.