Abdu Katuntu will continue leading the probe into Bank of Uganda until February 16.
Katuntu’s mandate as the head of the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) ended on Sunday, January 13. He was due to hand over to Mubarak Munyagwa and Moses Kasibante.
However, last year Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, extended the Katuntu-led committee until it completes the probe into the Central Bank’s handling of the sale of seven, now defunct commercial banks, including Crane Bank.
The request brought about back and forth ‘name calling’ between the Opposition politicians -led by Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Achan and Ssemuju Nganda – on one side and and the Speaker on the other.
This culminated in a meeting between Aol and Kadaga on Tuesday afternoon in which it was agreed that Katuntu completes the BoU probe, among other businesses supposed to be handled.
The announcement was made by Shadow Information minister, Betty Nambooze on Tuesday evening.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT BY THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFORMATION ON THE STATUS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON STATUTORY AUTHORITIES AND STATE ENTERPRISES (COSASE)
As provided for under Rule 155(I) of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, the tenure of Standing Committees in the 10th Parliament expired on Sunday 13th January 2019.
The same rules empower the Opposition to designate the Chairpersons and Deputies to the said Committees and acting on this mandate the Minority leadership in Parliament nominated and made public the names to the respective offices through the Opposition Chief Whip and this position still stands.
The Opposition Chief whip is also accordingly in the process of naming members to these committees and the same shall be presented to Plenary so as to fully constitute the said organs.
Unfortunately, at the expiry of the term and at which time the leadership and composition of the Committees should have changed, the Standing Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) was in the middle of a the critical probe into the into the irregular sale and closure of commercial banks by Bank of Uganda.
Upon this background, the Speaker of Parliament requested the Opposition to extend the term of the outgoing COSASE to allow for the completion of the probe before handing over office. As Opposition, we were not able to make an official response to the Speaker’s request because both the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Whip were not in Plenary that day.
This has regrettably occasioned an informal exchange that has been interpreted as a big disagreement between the Minority leadership and the Speaker. It has also depicted the outgoing Chairman and his deputy as people who are reluctant to peacefully hand over office and make way for the new leadership to the committee. Some sections have also used this unfortunate occurance to unfairly attack the incoming Chairperson and his deputy as people unfit to serve in that capacity.
Indeed, the Opposition Chief Whip had earlier on offered to retain on the committee both the outgoing Chairman and his deputy to facilitate institutional memory but they declined the offer and preferred to be moved to other committees. In a bid to resolve this impasse, the LOP has held two meetings with the Speaker, the last of which took place today.
We therefore wish to announce that a compromise on how to facilitate a transition and handover by Hon. Abdul Katuntu to Hon. Munyagwa Mubarak without compromising the ongoing probe has been worked out and agreed upon. The same shall be announced by the Speaker with details during plenary most probably tomorrow 16th January 2019.
We are sure that if all sides respect and implement the position reached we would have resolved the deadlock so far witnessed and that the BOU probe will be saved while at the same time harmony will be restored in the house.
The position agreed on in regard to the transition procedures will apply across all committees since we don’t want to set a precedent that committees get to be governed through a separate regime of regulations.
The transition will see all these committees fully constituted and in office by 15th of February 2015.
Bakireke Nambooze Betty
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