A group of people calling themselves Concerned Uganda citizens has petitioned the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga asking her to stop the Committee on Commissions, Statuary Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) from re-investigating Bank of Uganda (BoU) over the seven controversially closed and sold banks by the Central Bank.
This follows reports that COSASE was considering re-investigating BoU especially regarding the Shs478 billion injected in Crane Bank after takeover that the Central Bank officials failed to account for during the first probe carried out by the same Committee under the leadership of Abdu Katuntu as chairperson.
Led by Brian Sam Kakulu (in featured photo), a student pursuing a Bachelors degree in Law at Uganda Christian University, the group claims that the new COSASE leadership led by Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa is trying to give some senior BoU officials a second chance to table accountability for Shs478 billion which the bank failed to account for in the first probe.
They asked the speaker to replace Munyagwa as COSASE, should he allow his committee to be manipulated by the central bank.
In February this year, the long-awaited COSASE report on the controversial closure and sale of seven defunct banks by BoU was released to the public.
The investigations followed the special audit report by the Auditor General that raised a number of queries in the manner the banks were closed and sold.
The seven banks in question include Teffe Bank, International Credit Bank Limited, Greenland Bank, Co-operative Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited.
The report pinned BoU, noting that whereas section 95 (3) of the Financial Institutions (FIA) requires the Central Bank to appoint auditors on assumption of management of a distressed bank as soon as possible, in numerous cases, BoU was appointing auditors after the sale.
“It is the Committee’s further observation that the Bank is not clothed with the authority to appoint an auditor for an institution that it has already sold and whose assets and liabilities have been passed on to a third party,” the report reads in part.
The report also calls for punishment of BoU officials, who slept on the job.
“BoU having failed to value the assets and liabilities of GTB, NBC and CBL and considering the lapse of time and impossibility in revaluation of assets should address the probable financial loss occasioned. BoU officials who failed to properly execute their duties in accordance with the law should be held responsible for their commissions and/or omissions,” says the report.
It adds: “…The committee further recommends that the officers involved should be held responsible for conflict of interest.. The fraudulent business activities being conducted by M/s SIL Investments on behalf of a nonexistent M/s NRAC should immediately cease…The Inspector General of police is required to immediately, on adoption of this report, seize all the land titles in the possession of Mr. Kakembo Katende of M/s JN Kirkland and Associates and M/s SIL Investments arising from their management of tire loan portfolio sold to M/s NRAC by Bank of Uganda.”
The report adds that M/ s SIL Investments and Mr. Kakembo Katende should render an account to the public trustee of all monies received from the time M/s NRAC ceased to exist.
“ The agency of M/s SIL Investments Ltd cannot legally exist upon dissolution of the Principal (M/s NRAC),” says the report, adding : “The Uganda Revenue Authority should take interest in the tax activities of M/s Nile River Acquisition company and its agents, M/s JN Kirkland.”