MPs poke holes in COSASE report

MPs flouted the report by the committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on the closure of commercial banks, declaring the report wanting.

Former COSASE chairman Abdu Katuntu last Thursday tabled a report of the committee’s findings from an investigation into Bank of Uganda’s closure of seven commercial banks between 1993 and 2016.

When the report came up for debate today (Tuesday), Members of Parliament turned the heat on COSASE, accusing its membership of making vague recommendations.

State Minister for Health (General duties)
Sarah Opendi for instatnce wondered why COSASE failed to name names of the Bank of Uganda officials implicated in wrongdoing.

She said that since the committee failed to directly implicate any official, Parliament ought to forward the report to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) for further  investigation.

She also demanded for the resignation of the central bank’s top officials.

“If we were in a developed country, the Bank of Uganda officials would have resigned, but this is Uganda where corruption seems to be okay. We cannot approve the report when the officials who caused financial loss are still free,” Opendi said.

Minister Sarah Opendi wants the COSASE report to be handed over to the IGG for further investigations

Opendi was back by Ngora MP David Abala but Agago Woman MP Franca Akello protested reminding her colleagues that any committee report is a property of Parliament and therefore the duty of Parliament to improve the report than referring it to another entity.

Ajuri MP Hamson Obua described Bank of Uganda’s actions as unfair to the affected banks, attributing the problem on the composition of the BOU board.

“The board Bank of Uganda and the management should to be separated to allow for proper and efficient management of BOU,” Obua said.

Kasambya MP Mbwatekamwa Gafa proposed that Parliament resolves to sack some of the Bank of Uganda officials.

“I find it very important to fire people like Louis Kasekende (Deputy Governor), Justine Bagyenda (former Executive Director for commercial banks supervision), Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile (Governor) and Benedict Ssekabira (Director Financial market – Development coordination). The BoU board should also be fired immediately. I find it very important that the shareholders of closed banks should be refunded immediately,” Mbwatekamwa said.

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga invited his colleagues to discuss the report with calmness lest they risked grossing over serious commissions and omissions.

Mpuuga cited an audit report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers that implicated individuals in Crane Bank in acts gross fraud and money laundering.