Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) Chairman Abdu Katuntu, has told former Bank of Uganda (BoU) executive director for bank supervision, Ms Justine Bagyenda that the committee will not release her passports to allow her fly abroad for the Christmas holiday.
This follows after Bagyenda requested through writing that she needed to travel abroad for Christmas. The passports were confiscated two weeks ago after she flew out of the country without letting the committee know in time.
Bagyenda and other BoU officials including Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and Deputy Governor Dr. Louis Kasekende have been appearing before the committee over closure of seven defunct banks, which the Auditor General John Muwanga in his report says were closed without following guidelines as provided in the Financial Institutions Act (FIA) as well as the Bank of Uganda Act.
“Ms Bagyenda has written to me and she was requesting us to release her passports to enable her arrange her Christmas travel,” MP Katuntu told the committee on Friday.
Katuntu told Bagyenda that the BoU inquiry will continue even during Christmas period to complete the matter in time. Katuntu said Bagyenda is part and parcel of the probe. “You are a very critical witness and the whole bank transactions were based in your office. What takes precedence? Is it your Christmas or committee?” Katuntu said.
Katuntu told Bagyenda that probe would continue even after the Christmas break and that she needed to respect the committee program which takes precedent.
“We can’t refuse anybody to go for Christmas but then, whether she goes for Christmas, she must be here when we need her. She will tell us when she is leaving and she has to reconcile her program to travel with the Committee program where they conflict, the Committee program prevails over her travels because we aren’t going to stop this process because Bagyenda is on holiday, that we will not do. She will take advantage of only her Committee program,” Katuntu said.
On December 3, 2018, Katuntu told Bagyenda to deposit both her passports to parliament after she dodged the committee to attend to her errands abroad. Bagyenda played a critical role in the sale of Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited.