Speaker Rt Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has a trashed a letter from the Inspector General of Government [IGG] Irene Mulyagonja directing Internal Security Organisation [ISO] to investigate members of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
The letter asks ISO to investigate former Cosase chairman Abdu Katuntu and is deputy Anita Among, Hon Elijah Okupa and Hon Odonga Otto for allegedly taking bribes from city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his son Rajiv.
Kadaga told plenary that she finds the contents of the letter to be an attack on Parliament of Uganda, an attempt to muzzle investigations, stifle the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail Parliament and its members in the performance of its Constitutional functions.
“I am very surprised that the IGG didn’t find it necessary to first consult my office on the matters contained in the letter before authoring the letter to ISO,” Kadaga charged.
“If she had called me, I would have been able to tell her there was no benchmarking which she wants to investigate.”
Kadaga said benchmarking is with her authorization, therefore, she is also being accused of facilitating some benchmarking, but the IGG wants ISO to investigate that.
“So you are going to see ISO come and check the Speaker’s letters! Is she right? This is what the IGG wants.”
“I say this because in the past, we have had good collaborations, she has called me on many occasions to find out information and clarifications regarding Parliament and I have responded to her requests.”
Kadaga also took strong exception on paragraph two of the letter when the IGG alleges that the Chairperson of COSASE which he suspected to be the real reason they refused to leave the leadership of COSASE when its term ended.
“I think it is this house which gave them an opportunity to do their work, I don’t see how the IGG can determine how work is done in this House.”
“Although I told you, that there were witnesses that hadn’t been interviewed, the real reason was that they were getting money and that implies that I was part of that money, that is what this means.”
She added: “So this accusation means that I championed the need for the Committee to be given more time and you who supported and approved are part of that to get more time for the people to collect money when we approved the extension.”
Kadaga said she has explained in media the need to handle this probe carefully, which causes her to wonder why the IGG felt it necessary to write this thing in her letter.
The Speaker believes the letter and contents are an attack on the dignity, immunity and indeed an affront on the dignity on all members of the House as guaranteed in the Parliament Administration Act and she condemned it in the strongest terms possible.
“I will not allow anyone as long as I am the Speaker to blackmail this House.”
She referred the IGG’s letter to the Standing Committee of Rules and Privileges to investigate “this letter” whether it doesn’t amount to contempt of Parliament.
“First of all, the IGG is an officer of this House, she reports to this House, but casually directs ISO to investigate us?”
Earlier Thursday, Kadaga officiated at the 21st Graduation ceremony of YMCA at their Buwambo campus, Wakiso district.
She commended YMCA Comprehensive Institute for implementing government’s proposal of increasing vocational and technical training.
She applauded YMCA’s fashion designer graduands who will be making clothes from our local fabrics.
“We have been used to buying clothes from other countries especially Europe and the Middle East, but now our people make our own designs. The fashion design industry is good for the future of this country.”
Since government is putting in a lot of effort in the tourism sector, she encouraged YMCA to maintain and even improve their Hotel and Institutional Catering course.