IGG asks ISO to investigate COSASE MPs

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja has written to the Director General of Col Kaka Bagyenda to investigate members of Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) and some Bank of Uganda officials over bribery allegations.

“The Inspectorate of Government received a complaint, copied to you, wherein allegations of misconduct by Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises were made in relation to the probe into the closure of seven defunct commercial banks,” Mulyagonja wrote on February 19.

Since August last, COSASE under the chairmanship of Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu, deputized by Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, conducted an investigation into Bank of Uganda’s closure of seven commercial banks namely, Tteefe Trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Greenland Bank, Global Trust Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Crane Bank.

According to the IGG’s letter, Katuntu and Among are known associates of Sudhir Ruparelia, the former owner of Crane Bank whom they regularly met with his son Rajiv Ruparelia during the course of the probe.

The letter further alleges that the meetings were attended by Sudhir’s lawyers from Kampala Associated Advocates.

Businessman and former crane bank MD Sudhir Ruparelia submitting during the COSASE interface

Mulyagonja’s letter also names MPs Elijah Okupa (Kasilo) and Odonga Otto (Aruu) as having maintained close contact with the businessman.

“The said members of the committee and others received cash payments from the Ruparelias which is suspected to be the real reason they refused to yield leadership of COSASE when its term ended,” Mulyagonja wrote.

Katuntu is also accused of failure to declare that he was among the debtors of Global Trust Bank with a debt of about Shs 180 million at the time of the bank’s closure in 2012.

The Bugweri MP is also alleged to have received Shs 400 million from the Governor Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile to enable COSASE carry out a bench making exercise with other Central Banks.

“The money was not declared by Katuntu and neither was it accounted for. This is one of the reasons why the governor was allowed to pretend that he knew nothing about the closed banks, was never put on oath and never closely examined like other BOU officials,” Mulyagonja’s letter reads.

BOU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile consults with Tumubweine Twinemanzi during the COSASE hearing

The letter also alleges that Sudhir bribed Mutebile with millions of dollars while Twinemanzi Tumubweine, the acting Executive Director in charge of Banks supervision, and members of COSASE leaked confidential information to Sudhir.

“The office has decided that ISO is in a better position to investigate this and we hereby refer the same to your office for investigation. We request that you provide us with a copy of the report of your findings and action taken on conclusion of your investigation,” Mulyagonja wrote.

The letter was copied to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who however told the plenary sitting of Parliament that IGG’s action is in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.