The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has curtailed the efforts of MP Mubarak Munyagwa, the Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), who days ago constituted a select sub-committee led by Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi, to do a fresh probe of Bank of Uganda over the closure of seven commercial banks.
Before Kadaga’s intervention that a fresh probe BoU cannot be done without following House rules, Munyagwa and Kasozi had been insisting that they intended to do it, saying they had received complaints from clients, customers and shareholders of the banks that were closed. The banks included; Teefe Trust Bank, Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited (CBL).
It should be recalled that COSASE under MP Abdu Katuntu probed BoU on the closed banks based on the special audit report of the central on closed banks by the Auditor General John Muwanga, which committee wrote a report that was adopted by parliament in February this year and according to Kadaga, MPs are awaiting government response as far as the recommendations in the report are concerned.
“Please be… advised that once the recommendations were adopted, it is incumbent upon government to respond by way of A Treasury Memorandum, which has not yet been done,” Kadaga wrote in a letter dated June 10th to Munyagwa as Chairperson COSASE.
Kadaga says that no other report has been authored by the Auditor General to parliament in respect to closure of commercial banks in Uganda by BoU to warrant an inquiry into the same by the committee. “Similarly, no authority of the House has been granted to freshly investigate the closure of commercial banks,” says Kadaga.
“…I am of the firm opinion that your action in trying to reopen a matter that was already been substantively considered and finalised by parliament in the very recent past, in the absence of a fresh report of the Auditor General on the subject or authority of the House, whose delegates…is not founded in the Constitution or indeed in the Rules of procedure of Parliament,” she continued.
The Speaker in the letter referred Munyagwa to Rule 219 and Rule 219 (2) of the Rules of Procedure. Rule 219 states: “It is out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the House has come to a conclusion during the current session.” Kadaga in a letter says Munyagwa breached Rule 219.
She also faults Munyagwa on rule 219 (2) that states: “Notwithstanding sub rule (1), the House may reconsider any questions upon which a decision has been taken by the House if the motion for revision is taken by a vote of half of all members of parliament participating in that decision.” Kadaga says no motion was moved either by Munyagwa as Chairperson or by any other member to that effect.
Kadaga in letter also says that it was prudent parliament allows BoU to implement resolutions of parliament that were made.
Kadaga received two separate petitions from concerned citizens on May 29 and 31st respectively objecting to reopening investigations by COSASE into closed commercial banks by BoU. The petitioners argued that the second exercise would be a water of taxpayers’ money since the committee did the f did the same work and presented to parliament for adoption. They also argued that the second exercise had an invisible hand behind to help BoU officials implicated in the first probe to clear their names.
Kadaga’s decision that no fresh probe of BoU over closed banks should be carried out by COSASE has dealt a blow to BoU officials who thought they would clear their names, having been faulted in the first probe that stretched from Later October to late February 2019.
Days ago BoU Deputy Governor appeared before COSASE with some documents related to the Shs478 billion supposedly injected into CBL but were sent back. The Auditor General in the first probe faulted BoU officials for failure to account for Shs32o billion of that money.
Kadaga has advised Munyagwa to work on other entities and leave BoU alone. “I am sure that there i8s more than enough work concerning other entities before your committee that equally deserve the attention of your committee,” she wrote.