The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) led by Kawempe South Member of Parliament Mubarak Munyagwa has no authority to freshly investigate the alleged irregular closure of seven commercial banks by Bank of Uganda and it should refrain from taking any move into the matter.
Kadaga’s order follows a number of petitions from concerned citizens asking her to stop Munyagwa from reopening the probe.
One of the petitioners, Micheal Busingye said the probe would be a waste of time and tax payers’ money as an investigation was already concluded by Munyagwa’s predecessor Abdu Katuntu in February this year.
In a letter dated June 10, 2019, Kadaga told Munyagwa to refrain from further proceedings in relation to the probe until otherwise directed by the House.
“Under rule 178 (4) the committee, upon receipt of the Auditor General’s report, is required to consider and examine the recommendations of the Auditor General and thereafter under rule 178 (5) to lay the report of the committee on the table for purposes of debate by the House under clause (5) of article 163 of the constitution. Once the committee, as a delegate of the House, has tabled a report for debate,it has sufficiently discharged its burden and the report becomes the property of the House. Upon so doing if the report is adopted [like was the case in the matter of closure of commercial banks by Bank of Uganda] it becomes a report of the Parliament of Uganda. The committee then stands discharged in respect of any authority of the House on the subject matter of the report,” the Speaker stated.
“It is evident that no other report has been authored by the Auditor General to Parliament in respect to closure of commercial banks in Uganda by Bank of Uganda to warrant an inquiry into the same by the committee. Similarly, no authority of the House has been granted to freshly investigate the closure of the commercial banks.”
She also advised Munyagwa that since the recommendations were adopted, it was incumbent upon the Government to respond by way of a Treasury Memorandum, which has not yet been done.
“I think it is prudent that Parliament allows the Bank of Uganda to focus on implementing the resolutions of Parliament that were recently made.In any case, I am sure that there is more than enough work concerning other entities before your committee that equally deserve the attention of your committee.”
Last month, Munyagwa re-opened the probe despite being finalized and sealed off by Katuntu.
He went ahead to summon into the committee the deputy governor Louis Kasekende, asking him about the auditing of BoU’s accounts and how the Central Bank has been operating for decades without an Accounting Officer.
He also sent him back to bring accounting documents after Bank of Uganda failed to account for over Shs470 billion injected into Crane Bank and blow away in less than six months.
However, according to our sources, it is alleged that Munyagwa is trying to play on the minds of fellow legislators, to give Dr Kasekende a chance to table accountability of Shs470 billion which BoU failed to account for during Katuntu’s probe period.
Since the Katuntu report was passed, some BoU officials have been working hard on undoing the ‘guilt’ created by their sloppy appearance before Katuntu’s chaired Cosase which showed the world how incompetent BoU managers were, and how carelessly they Crane Bank and six other banks.