Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa has assumed the leadership of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) with consideration of backlogs topping his to-do list.
Munyagwa took over leadership of the Committee from Hon. Abdu Katuntu (FDC, Bugweri), who counselled his successor on what to prioritize.
“Do not go for small entities; do not go for the numbers but look at the budget,” said Katuntu, saying with 112 Statutory Authorities under the Committee’s watch, only prioritization can yield helpful outcomes.
The committee is charged with examining reports and audited accounts of Statutory Authorities, Corporations and Public Enterprises and in the context of their autonomy and efficiency, ascertain whether their operations are being managed in accordance with the required competence.
The Committee, under Katuntu, dealt with 14 agencies as against the 112, highlighting Munyagwa’s arduous challenge on backlog.
Katuntu cautioned his successor against working in isolation.
“You will need a working relationship with your members; no Chairman succeeds except when you are working with your members,” said Katuntu.
Munyagwa was all praises for his predecessor, marking the burying of hatchets following a bitter words battle that resulted from perennial postponements of his inauguration.
“I’m replacing a great personality,” Munyagwa said of Katuntu, who he previously criticized for failure to hand over office, following the controversial extension of the Committee’s tenure to finalize with its probe on Bank of Uganda.
The composition and leadership of Cosase, one of the four standing public accounts committees, are designated at the start of a new Parliament, and again after two and half years.
The term of the committee leadership was due to change in January 2019, but the Speaker ruled that the committee first completes its investigation of the Central Bank.
“We shall do our work judiciously. We shall not fear or favour anybody,” said Munyagwa.
He inherits a committee without a Vice Chairperson, after MP Moses Kasibante (Ind., Rubaga North), failed to assume the deputy’s roles, as the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who designate independent MPs, assigned him to the Committee on Appointments.
Munyagwa said he will refer the matter to the Speaker and Leader of the Opposition Betty Aol Ocan.
The two advised journalists against comparing them, saying they should be judged on different terms because they are different personalities.
Cosase last week presented its report on the special audit of Bank of Uganda, where officials in the Central Bank were to take personal responsibility for un-procedural closure of a seven banks in the last two decades.
The Committee shot to the limelight when it proved the infamous ‘handshake’, where several government officials were paid over Shs6bn for winning a tax dispute against Tullow Oil in the United kingdom.