The Inspector General of Government, Irene Mulyagonja has written to the Internal Security Organisation(ISO) to investigate allegations that some MPs on the Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) received bribes .
Among those mentioned is the chairperson Abdu Katuntu and his deputy, Anita Among. It also mentions Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa and Odonga Otto, the Aruu County MP.
The letter was tabled in parliament yesterday during debate on the COSASE report by Padyere County MP, Joshua Anywarach.
Anywarch claimed that some people implicated in the messy handling of the closure of the banks were trying to blackmail some members and had reached out to the IGG.
“Madam Speaker, we must not allow this. They are trying to pour cold water on the efforts of the committee,” Anywarach said.
In reply Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, said she had received the letter but protested that it violated the doctrine of separation of powers.
“I will give it to the Prime Minister but this is really a breach of a separation of powers,” she said.
The doctrine of separation of powers essentially means that in the course of doing their work, the three organs of government: legislature, judiciary and executive, must not interfere in the affairs of others.
The parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) last year started investigations into the sale of 8 banks including Teefe Trust bank, International Credit bank Ltd, Greenland bank, Uganda Cooperative bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust bank and Crane bank Ltd and the report was handed over last week to the speaker of parliament.
However, in a February 19 2019 letter to the ISO, Director General, the IGG says her office received a complaint of allegations of misconduct by members of the Cosase committee while carrying out their probe into the sale of eight banks.
It has now been understood that the complaint was lodged by some of the senior officials of Bank of Uganda and is a continuation of the abrasive fight between some officials in Bank of Uganda and some MPs.
The letter claims that Katuntu and Among are close associates of Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, who was the majority shareholder of Crane Bank which was sold to DFCU by Bank of Uganda.
It does not mention whether or how this relationship influenced the findings of the committee which questioned the manner in which the bank was sold.
In her letter, the IGG claims that some legislators and members of the Cosase committee received cash, prompting them to refuse to handover office despite expiry of their term of office.
“Katuntu was one of the debtors of Global Trust Bank at the time it was closed on July 12, 2012 and he owed it approximately shs180 million, a matter he didn’t declare yet debts were amongst the causes of the bank’s collapse.”
The IGG’s letter claims that the Bank of Uganda governor, Tumusiime Mutebile authorised payment of Shs400 million to Katuntu to enable Cosase carryout a bench-marking exercise with other central banks.
“The money was not declared by Katuntu and neither was it accounted for .This is one of the reasons the governor was allowed to pretend that he knew nothing about any closed banks, was never put on oath and not closely examined like other central bank officials,” the IGG notes.
The IGG says her office has decided to ask ISO to investigate the allegations because they are in a better position to do so.
The latest development comes at a time when the August House has started debating the Cosase report that faulted Bank of Uganda on flouting procedures while selling the said banks.