Opposition’s spokesperson in Parliament and Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament, Betty Nambooze, has castigated fellow legislator Abdu Katuntu for his refusal to handover office as chairperson for Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
In an interview with Watchdog Uganda on Wednesday, Mrs Nambooze Bakireke said that Mr Katuntu should respect his profession as a lawyer and abide by the rules which require him to hand over office as chairperson for COSASE after his term ended.
“Katuntu is a talented lawyer, (and) he has performed well, however, as a professional lawyer with a good reputation, he should handover the office,” said Nambooze, cautioning the Bugweri county MP that accepting extension of his term stood in the way of the report.
“If this practice of extending terms succeeds in opposition, we shall lose the moral authority to fight president Museveni because that is what his regime is doing so there will be no difference (between NRM and opposition),” said Nambooze.
Before Parliament took a Christmas holidays break, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked to Parliament to add Mr Katuntu and his Cosase committee to be extended two months to complete the ongoing Bank of Uganda probe and working on the reports.
However, the leader of opposition in parliament Betty Oal Ochan deferred, saying Katuntu should give way to Mubarak Munyagwa and his deputy Moses Kasibante to run the committee.
According to the spokesperson of opposition Nambooze, by the time the Speaker made this submission, Mrs Aol and opposition Chief whip Ibrahim Ssemujju were not around to weigh in the matter.
“Speaker was working out of law to extend their term because she can only guide the process but has no mandate to change laws. Whatever she does must be within rules and procedures of parliament. We have rights to challenge her in case she acts out of law,” added Nambooze. She adds that the excuses the Speaker gave of the unfinished Bank of Uganda probe are not acceptable.
“Katuntu is leaving the office of COSASE chairpersonship because his term has expired and we have a law that requires us to change every committee member after two and half years.
“Whatever Katuntu has not finished, the incoming committee will finish it,” added Nambooze.
The Mukono municipality legislator warned that in case Katuntu’s committee goes ahead with probing Bank of Uganda officials yet their legal term is over, BoU will have rights to challenge the outcome of probe basing on argument that those who conducted the probe were doing it illegally since they term was over.