The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has responded to the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja’s letter directing Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate the former Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Abdu Katuntu and his team over corruption allegations during the probe of Bank of Uganda officials regarding the illegal closure of seven defunct.
Kadaga said Mulyagonja’s is not only an attack on Parliament, but also a move to muzzle investigations and blackmail MPs.
“I find the contents of this letter to be an attack on the parliament of Uganda, an attempt to muzzle investigations, stifle the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail Parliament and its members in performance of its constitutional functions,” Kadaga said.
She said she is very surprised that the IGG didn’t find it necessary to first consult her office on the matters contained in the letter before authoring the letter to ISO.
“If she had called me, I would have been able to tell her there was no benchmarking which she wants to investigate. Benchmarking is with my authorization, therefore, I am also being accused of facilitating some benchmarking, but she wants ISO to investigate that. So you are going to see ISO come and check the Speaker’s letters, is she right?…I say this because in the past, we have had good collaborations, she has called me on many occasions to find out information and clarifications regarding Parliament and I have responded to her request,” Kadaga said.
She added that the IGG alleging that the Chairperson of COSASE didn’t want to leave office when his term expired is laughable.
“I think it is this house which gave them an opportunity to do their work, I don’t see how the IGG can determine how work is done in this House. … So this accusation means that I championed the need for the Committee to be given more time, and you who supported and approved are part of that to get more time for the people to collect money when we approved the extension.
I have explained in media the need to handle this probe carefully, this causes me to wonder why the IGG felt it necessary to write this thing in her letter,” Kadaga wondered.
She added: “I believe that this letter and contents are an attack on the dignity, immunity and indeed an affront on the dignity on all members of this House as guaranteed in the Parliament, Administrations Act and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.”
She noted that she will not allow anyone as long as she remains the Speaker to blackmail Parliament.
“I want to refer the IGG’s letter to the Standing Committee of Rules and Privileges to investigate this letter whether it doesn’t amount to contempt of Parliament,” Kadaga said, adding: “First of all, the IGG is an officer of this House, she reports to this House, but casually directs ISO to investigate us.”