By Kagenyi Lukka
The probe into the mess in Bank of Uganda has resumed today after a short break. The committee is being chaired by the distinguished Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu whose performance indicators make him qualify to be a first class legislator.
The perennial lack of minutes is a ghost that still haunts Bank of Uganda. This in many ways isn’t surprising to anyone who has spared time to follow how the Bank of Uganda deliberately mismanaged the closure and sale/donation of defunct commercial banks between 1993-2016.
In my opinionated, the mismanagement was deliberate so that a few individuals especially with in BOU’s supervision department could make quick financial fixes and gains out of such dubious deals.
I will discuss the mess in Bank of Uganda at length in my next articles.
However, the run-up to today’s cosase meeting has been marred by a series of prolonged public discussions in the media including social media as to whether Hon Abdu Katuntu should continue chairing the probe into the crisis at BOU.
Katuntu’s term as Cosase chairman will end on 13th January but the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga requested the opposition to maintain him as chair up to end of February so that he concludes the probe.
Ms Kadaga’s request to the opposition was greeted with hostility in some circles with in the opposition.
A section of our politicians with in the opposition who seem to be having a borne to pick With Katuntu have ceased this moment to demonize him as not being the best performer and that despite chairing the BoU probe, there is a lot of unfinished business while others have dishonestly argued that he works for camera shows and doesn’t produce reports.
The most unbecoming accusation against Abdu Katuntu has been an allegation that He is using the position as chairman of Cosase to extort money from some people whose banks were closed.
The accusation that Katuntu is using the opportunity to extort money from owners of defunct banks is laughable.
This is so because, last week, Katuntu re-echoed his 2016 promise that he won’t seek re-election in 2021.Election financing can be exhausting and Katuntu would have ceased this chance but he chose to decently bow out of the August house at a time when the country needed him most.
*Is Abdu Katuntu a performer*
Those vilifying Hon Katuntu for not performing are either malicious, ignorant or misinformed.
During his tenure, Cosase has so much shined and looks like it is the only Accountability Committee in Parliament yet there are others like Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and The Local Government Accounts Committee. PAC was the most revered committee during the chairmanship of Nathan Nandala Mafabi.
For the first time in the history of parliament, Katuntu who some claim that he isn’t a performer, successfully recovered land belonging to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. The land which is situated in Bugolobi had been allegedly bought by Burahya County MP, Margret Muhanga at a fee of Ugx 10 billion.
However, under Katuntu’s chairmanship, Muhanga who claims to have sold her goats and cows to raise funds to buy the land, was forced to surrender UBC’s title deed through her lawyer Caleb Alaka.
Furthermore, during his tenure, Katuntu forced Chinese firms to cough Ugx 26 billion. The firms had been contracted by Uganda National Roads Authority but upon receipt of the money, some firms fixed it while others invested in personal business for profit.
The firms are; China Railway18th Bureau Group Company Limited (Shs 14bn), China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Company Limited (Shs 8.4bn), Chongqing International Construction Corporation Shs 3.5bn and Zhongmei Engineering Group Shs 272.9m.
The above strides portray Katuntu as a performer who shouldn’t be vilified but should be hailed and maintained to lead the BOU probe. Even those coming to replace him and the general public, should seek to build on and walk in his foot marks.