The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to investigate the contents of letter from the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to Internal Security Organisation (ISO).
In the letter, the IGG directs the Director, ISO to investigate allegations by a whistle-blower that some members on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) were bribed in the course of the probe on the closure of commercial banks by the Central Bank.
Kadaga said the Committee should study the letter and establish whether it does not amount to contempt of Parliament, owing to the fact that it pins Members of Parliament in alleged dubious deals with the subjects of the COSASE investigation including the Bank of Uganda Governor and the Crane Bank owner.
While chairing the sitting of the House Thursday, 28 February 2019, the Speaker expressed concern over the move by the IGG to author a letter to investigate Parliament without any consultations.
“The IGG is an officer of this House and reports to this House. But she is casually directing the ISO Director to investigate us. I am surprised that she did not find it prudent to first consult my office on the matters contained in the letter before authoring it to ISO,” said Kadaga.
Kadaga added the letter was an attack on Parliament and an attempt to impede Parliamentary investigations as well as intimidate and blackmail the House and its members in the performance of constitutionally granted functions.
“This allegation insinuates that I as the person who championed the need for the committee to be allowed more time to complete this important assignment was myself compromised together with you Honourable members who supported and approved when I proposed the extension,” said Kadaga.
The Speaker cited the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act that emphasizes the dignity of the Members of Parliament and condemned the letter saying, “I will not, while as your Speaker, allow anyone to blackmail this House.”
MPs also raised concerns over recurring queries into investigations by Parliamentary Committees, noting that it had not been the first such incident, adding that the IGG ought to explain to Parliament the intention of the letter to the ISO Director.
“Every time we come up with any investigation, people try to allege bribery. I remember when we tried to investigate UTL and the compensation to Bassajabalaba on the city abattoir, this issue came up,” said Hon. Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (NRM, Kasambya County).
In letter, the IGG alleged that the former COSASE Chairperson Hon. Abdu Katuntu and his deputy Hon. Anita Among were known associates of Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and that they regularly met with him and his associates during the course of the investigation.
The letter also alleges that Bank of Uganda Director, Dr. Twinemanzi Tumubweine and members of COSASE leaked confidential information to Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.
“The Chairperson of COSASE, Hon. Katuntu and his Deputy Anita Among received cash payments from Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia which is suspected to be the real reason they refused to yield leadership of the COSASE when its term ended,” reads the letter in part.