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Uganda: BoU probe: LoP rejects Kadaga’s request to give Katuntu more time

Kampala- The leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Ms Betty Aol Ochan, has rejected a request by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to extend the tenure of the Abdu Katuntu-led Committee investigating irregularities at Bank of Uganda.

Last week, the Speaker wrote to Ms Aol, requesting her to give Mr Katuntu and his deputy, Ms Anita Among one month to complete inquiry into closed banks inquiry before Mr Mubarak Munyagwa (MP Kawempe South) and Mr Moses Kasibante (MP Rubaga North) take over the leadership of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises committee (COSASE).

Since the BoU inquiry has now reached “critical stage”, the Speaker reasoned that changing the committee leadership and membership at the tail end of the probe would jeopardise the effective conclusion of the investigations. She therefore asked LoP to support Parliament work by postponing the changes in Cosase.

Although the request was made in good faith, the Forum for Democratic Change’s leadership at Najjanankumbi, instead reacted with consternation, fury and defiance, compelling Ms Aol to reject Kadaga’s request.
The FDC secretary for moblisation, Ms Ingrid Turinawe was the first to attack Ms Kadaga, accusing her of conspiring with the Mr Katuntu to overstay, a claim Cosase members across the political spectrum dismissed as “nonsense”.

Speaking to Daily Monitor yesterday, the Leader of Opposition described the move to extent Katuntu’s tenure as “ill-perceived, wrong and selfish”.

“For someone to think he or she is the only person who can handle something, then it is unfortunate because we are mortal, and if you are not there, someone else has to continue with your work,” Ms Aol said.
“That extension [of Cosase committee] seems to be going endlessly; I think it is not right.”

In her request, the Speaker had recommended for the tenure to be pushed from January 13, 2019 when it is expended to expire, to at least February 20, 2019 to allow “effective conclusion of the BoU probe.”

But Ms Aol insists, the extension will only undermine the decision of the appointing authority, in this case, FDC which has since changed the leadership of standing committee in Parliament.

Mr Munyagwa only attended the committee proceedings at the very start of the inquiry and he has never showed face in the committee for about two months.

However, the in-coming vice chairperson, Mr Kasibante has consistently attended the committee proceedings. Mr Munyagwa was not available to comment on the Speaker’s request.

Ms Winnie Kiiza, the former Leader of Opposition and Aol’s immediate predecessor said in a telephone interview that there should be no cause for worry, given the required extension is not very long.

“The work they are doing is very important and serious work and more so the one involving Bank of Uganda,” Ms Kiiza said.

She has advised her successor and those opposed to Mr Katuntu to re-consider their decision and allow the Mr Katuntu’s committee to complete investigations and write the report.

By Daily Monitor

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