Louis Kasekende and a team of top Bank of Uganda officials are having sleepless nights, one can argue.
This entourage was once again kicked out of parliament on Monday by Members of Parliament on the Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in a matter where it can be argued that they were telling lies.
This is the second time within a space of less than fourteen days that Kasekende and team are being thrown out, the first being last week when they appeared without supporting documents to explain the closure of defunct banks.
This was their first appearance before COSASE ever since the forensic audit report on defunct commercial banks 1993-2017 was released.
The report which unearthed gross irregularities at the central bank revealed that three banks were sold at 93% discount to a ‘ghost’ company, bank of Uganda didn’t have asset movement schedules, had no guidelines for closure of commercial banks and couldn’t account for over Ugx 400 billion that was injected into the formerly glorious crane bank during receivership (October 2016-January 2017) among other flaws.
The banks are; Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and Crane Bank Limited(CBL).Crane bank belonged to Dr Sudhir Ruparelia and was ‘sold’ at a giveaway credit installment of Ugx 200 billion.
The COSASE probe
The Abdu Katuntu led probe is taking a chronological format with focus on Teefe bank first. And, in a seeming admission of incompetence and open concealment of fraudulent transactions, the deputy governor shocked the committee when admitted that they didn’t have an Inventory of assets and liabilities for the defunct bank.
Louis Kasekende stated,’ at the time of closure, the 1969 law was effective and this nature of documents required did not include the inventory.” However he didn’t enlist the documents he mentions in his response as required by the 1969 law.
Inventories are a necessary evil in such an investigation without which the claims that Teefe bank was in a liquidity crisis can’t be expounded and justified. It shows the position of the institution at the time .It also forms a basis for payment of claims and other compensatory remedies if any.
Therefore, without this inventory, Teefe could have been closed without a reason as observed by Kalungu West Legislator,Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu.
It should be recalled that during the time of the forensic audit, the same Bank of Uganda team told the Auditor general that they were searching for documents.
Quiz them under oath
Kasekende and team may not take the committee seriously as it is clear that they may be peddling lies before the committee whose business conduct should be equivalent to that of high court.
Telling lies before a court is an act of contempt and punishable by law and thus those appearing before parliament should be aware of this.
For this probe to make meaningful strides, the BoU team should be quizzed under oath so that they desist from giving contradicting accounts of information, quizzing them under oath is welcome.
The writer is a socio political commentator and is the next MP, Ikiiki constituency. He is also blogger.