COSASE begins investigating Kasekende’s wealth

A three-member select committee of Parliament’s the committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has begun its investigating the ownership of a list of properties allegedly owned by the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende.

COSASE chairman Abdu Katuntu told the committee meeting on Thursday that the team has up to the beginning of next year to report back.

“The reason why we constituted this team was to check the authenticity and relevancy of (the claims by Hon Odonga Otto)… When we resume, it is at that juncture that we will decide on the fate of those documents. The consideration will be on two grounds whether they’re authentic or relevant. As of now, we want to give the committee chance to report and that report will be shared by the Deputy Governor,” Katuntu said.

The team is headed by COSASE Vice Chairperson, Anita Among. It also has Army MP Francis Takirwa and Kiruhura Woman MP Sheila Mwine.

The investigation followed the tabling of documents by Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto which he claimed listed the various properties that Kasekende had acquired during his tenure as deputy governor of the central bank.

In a related development, Kasekende has written to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga protesting Otto’s use of false documents to defame him.

In the documents, Otto alleged that Kasekende holds 72 land titles in Kampala, and that he (Kasekende) was part of the Bank of Uganda team that negotiated the sale of the residual loan portfolio of International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank and Greenland Bank to Nile River Acquisition Company at a 93% discount.

Otto alleged that Kasekende personally benefitted from the sale.

Otto also alleged that MMAKS Advocates deposited Shs 1.9 billion on a bank account run by Kasekende’s wife Edith. The payment was after the law firm was hired as legal advisors in the resolution of National Bank of Commerce and Crane Bank, Otto alleged.

He also claimed that the Chinese Company constructing the Masaka currency Centre had deposited Shs1.6 billion on Edith’s account while Tororo district administration deposited $71,000 on Kasekende’s personal account.

Of the alleged 72 properties that Kasekende owns in and around Kampala, Otto claimed, some had inappropriately been transferred into the names of his driver, a one Moses Musiitwa.

In his letter to Kadaga, Kasekende denied ever working with Musiitwa as his driver.

“In respect to the land titles I own, I should state that there is an on-going verification exercise being conducted by the office of the Inspector General of Government in relation to asset declarations by all senior staff of the Bank of Uganda whom I am part of,” Kasekende wrote.

He stated that most of the land titles and bank statements that Otto tabled were false and intended to defame him.

“I therefore pray that you consider the said defamatory statements and provide any redress you may find appropriate under the rules of Parliament that regulate the conduct of members of Parliament,” Kasekende wrote.