The Internal Security Organization (ISO) has been directed by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja to investigate alleged misconduct of former members on the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) during the Bank Of Uganda Probe, a directive that tries to discredit the findings of the probe and recommendations in the report generated from the probe.
The IGG should know that the BoU probe which has resulted into some good recommendations for good performance of the institution was highly publicized live on television and social media as various officials from the institution explained the uncoordinated ways in which banks like Teefe Trust Bank, Greenland Bank, Crane Bank, Global Trust bank and many others were closed between 1993 and 2016 and their assets sold unfairly without clear documentation.
By calling for an investigation against the former members of COSASE such as Former Chairperson Abdu Katuntu and his deputy Anita Among, Elijah Okupa and Odongo Otto, the IGG is simply helping BoU officials like Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Dr Louis Kasekende, Margaret Kasule, Ben Sekabira and former executive director of supervision to evade justice and make the case for their incompetence in managing the local banking industry.
IGG’s letter alleges that Katuntu and Among who headed COSASE during the investigations into BoU are known associates of Mr Sudhir Ruparelia a shareholder in the defunct Crane bank and that the two MPs regularly met with the tycoon and his son Rajiv Ruparelia. What we know is that Katuntu, Among and Otto were so critical of BoU officials for their incompetence in managing the closure of banks where even simple minutes of meetings related to bank closures were not availed, with some officials saying they don’t know the whereabouts of some of the required documents like evaluation reports, liquidation reports among others.
The allegation that the implicated members and others received cash payments from the Ruparelia is laughable and this can be taken as the last kick of a dying horse for somebody who is trying to save BoU top officials who closed banks but also cannot account for some of the money they say they injected for example in Crane Bank Limited (CBL) as well as the selling of loan books of some banks at 93 percent discount.
The letter written to the ISO Director General further alleges that Katuntu was one of the debtors of Global trust Bank (GTB)at the time it was closed and that he owed the bank about Shs180 million a matter he did not declare. If the IGG takes as a reason to call for an investigation against Katuntu, then she is after something else. Borrowing in Uganda and worldwide is legal and acceptable. The IGG must show how the alleged debt extended to Katuntu affected the probe proceedings. It is clear that BoU sold GTB and CBL to DFCU Bank well knowing that its staff under pension scheme own shares in DFCU Bank. This issue was serious interrogated by the committee as being conflict of interest and BoU accepted not to let its staff own shares in banks they supervise.
In the fourth section of the letter, the IGG points out that the Governor of Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile authorized payment of Shs400,000,000 to the former COSASE chairperson to carry out a benchmarking exercise with other central banks. The letter also that Dr Tumubweine Twinemanzi who is the executive director of banks supervision and members of COSASE leaked confidential information to Sudhir Ruparelia. All these lies that the IGG should have ignored. How BoU which is dire could need of money give all that amount to an individual and has she asked for any documents to prove that Katuntu received that money?
On the other hand we know that MPs Otto and Okupa were those that key in interrogating BoU officials over their bad deeds as they closed banks and common sense will tell you that none of the BoU officials like them and the IGG should have known this before calling for an investigation against them. Remember that the officials also tried to expose the wealth of Kasekende and Bagyenda, who the IGG has investigated but failed to avail the report to the public. The IGG should tell the public what has made her not to release the report on the wealth of the two officials.
That Tumubweine openly associates with Sudhir Ruparelia and has often visited him at Speke Apartments and Kabira Country Club is laughable because an individual has freedom to spend his leisure anywhere. If the allegation was that the official visits Ruparelia at his home, it would maybe hold some water.
The rushed decision by the IGG to call for an investigation against the MPs is laughable and deplorable and must be treated as such. And such acts by IGG explains why President Museveni lost confidence in that office by appointing Lt. Edith Nakalema led team to help fight corruption.