A number of Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) have disagreed with Committee Chairperson, Abdu Katuntu over the wealth of Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Dr. Louis Kasekende (in featured photo) and former Executive Director in charge of Supervision Justine Bagyenda.
COSASE is currently probing BoU officials over the controversial closure of seven defunct banks.
On Thursday MPs’ request to have a report detailing Kasekende’s wealth tabled publicly was first rejected by Katuntu, arguing that documents should be given to a sub-committee that has been handling confidential documents since the probe started.
The drama ensued after Aruu South County MP, Odonga Otto requested Katuntu to lay on table a list of properties owned by Kasekende in front of the cameras similar to how other documents were being laid.
Otto informed the Committee that he has documents showing how Kasekende’s wife Edith Kasekende received a sum of Shs1.9bn from Mmaks Advocates, who were involved in the sale of Crane Bank Limited to Dfcu.
“I want to lay 72 properties belonging to the Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende, 20 of which are in his personal names,” Otto said.
However, Busiro East MP, Medard Sseggona raised procedural matter on whether it wouldn’t be procedurally right to receive Otto’s documents on a later date.
“Unless these documents are to be cross examined but for neatness of our work, we would need to dispose of the witnesses before us,” Sseggona said.
This did not go down well with Otto and other MPs, who continued to grumble.
Otto insisted that the documents should be laid on table before and was backed by Kasiro County MP, Elijah Okupa, who said that Katuntu should not bend his rules but rather allow Otto to submit the documents.
In his ruling, Katuntu insisted that the documents are handed over to the sub-committee of three to scrutinize them before they are tabled.
The sub-committee is chaired by Anita Among, who also doubles as COSASE Vice chairperson. Her Committee has been scrutinizing documents that Bank of Uganda deemed confidential.
However, Odonga Otto was no contented with this decision and continued to protest Katuntu’s ruling.
“The public desires to know why it was so motivational for these people to close the banks and as a chair our rules bear you from acting in anticipation, why decide so before receiving the documents?” Otto said, who was equally backed by Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye.
This hullabaloo prompted Katuntu to suspend the committee for 30 minutes before hastily calling for an in-house meeting.
When the meeting resumed, Otto was allowed to table Kasekende’s wealth while Okupa tabled wealth of Justine Bagyenda.