Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda have come to the defence of former Committee on Commissions, Statutory and State Enterprises (COSASE) Chairperson Abdul Katuntu and his Deputy Anita Among.
The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) has been directed by the Inspector General of Government [IGG] Irene Mulyagonja, to investigate allegations that they were bribed by city mogul Sudhir Ruparelia and son, Rajiv.
The other allegations are on misconduct of the members during the probe that produced the special audit report on the closure of commercial banks in Uganda by Bank of Uganda.
Mulyagonja directed ISO to also investigate Cosase members Elijah Okupa and Odongo Otto.
The report cleared Deputy Governor BOU Louis Kasekende of benefiting from the assets of some of the closed banks, contrary to the evidence tabled by the Aruu County MP on Kasekende’s wealth.
Former Executive Director for Supervision Justine Bagyenda was also cleared of the same.
According to the letter, Katuntu and Among are known associates of Sudhir Ruparelia a shareholder in the defunct Crane bank.
The statement further points out that the two regularly met with the businessman and his son Rajiv Ruparelia.
The letter says Katuntu was one of the debtors of Global trust Bank at the time it was closed. “He owed the bank approximately Shs180,000,000 a matter he did not declare.”
IGG says Governor of Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile authorized payment of Shs400,000,000 to the former COSASE chairperson to carry out a benchmarking exercise with other central banks.
The letter further claims that Dr Tumubweine Twinemanzi and members of COSASE leaked confidential information to Sudhir Ruparelia who he often met at Speke Apartments and Kabira Country Club.
Twinemanzi is the Executive Director of banks Supervision Directorate of Bank of Uganda who in February 2018, replaced Justine Bagyenda.
In response, Speaker Kadaga said Mulyagonja was violating separation of powers of government organs and interfering with her work.
Kadaga said she received the copy of the IGG’s letter and would forward it to the prime minister.
This is a breach of separation of powers, she noted.
The Prime Minister Rugunda during the Wednesday plenary commended the Speaker for supporting the committee in taking up the investigation.
He also applauded the committee for carrying out their work.
He said the government of Uganda is strongly in support of parliament’s work and in this case the work done by COSASE.
The government has given an assurance that it shall take up the recommendations of the Committee if adopted by parliament.
Katuntu, in his closing remarks, said its true these banks had problems and were in distress.
“That did not mean someone would kill them. Someone took advantage and destroyed them. They scavenged on them.”
He said the Constitutional court on four occasions has decided powers of Parliament.
“As a committee we are open to any amendment. We shall advise; this is a committee report and a report of the House.”
He said when government officials excise impunity while conducting their duties, it’s unfortunate that the Government has to foot the compensation (vicarious responsibility).
“However, we have recommended that Bank of Uganda officials be held individually responsible.”