The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca A. Kadaga has declared, new COSASE Chair, Hon Mubarak Munyangwa’s attempts to start a fresh probe on Bank of Uganda’s irregular closure of 7 commercial banks as “out of order” and in multiple breach of several parliamentary rules of procedure.
Kadaga, in her 10th June 2019 letter to Munyagwa, told him to “refrain from further proceeding” with the probe until “otherwise directed by the House.”
It has been reported that Munyagwa is trying to assist Bank of Uganda officials to account for UGX478.8 billion, the central bank said it injected into Crane Bank between 20th October 2016 and 25th January 2017, but could not account fSor, when asked by Parliament to do so.
A 20th December 2018 audit by the Auditor General ordered by COSASE, then chaired by Munyagwa’s predecessor, Bugweri County, found that out of the UGX478.8 billion, an equivalent of UGX270 billion could not be traced to its final destination.
Analysts believe that to abet this anomaly, Munyagwa on Tuesday, 28th May 2019, hastily named a select sub-committee to probe what he says is “unfinished issues” in the BoU probe. The five-member committee is headed by his vice chairperson, Mr Ibrahim Kasozi of Makindye East Constituency and has since met with BOU officials led by the deputy Governor, Dr Louis Kasekende, and tasked them to respond to outstanding Auditor General’s queries, a move that some of the MPs have interpreted to mean, re-opening the probe that was concluded by then COSASE chairman and Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu.
Munyagwa’s moves also sparked off a public outcry and subsequently 2 members of the public petitioned the speaker on 29th and 31st May 2019 asking her to intervene.
Breach of parliamentary rules of procedure
In her letter titled: “RE-OPENING THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE BANK OF UGANDA CLOSURE OF COMMERCIAL BANKS BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMISSIONS, STATE AUTHORITIES AND STATE ENTERPRISES,” Kadaga told Munyagwa that constitutionally COSASE’s powers are drawn from the larger House and that its work is drawn from reports of the Auditor General in exercise of his/her constitutional mandate under Article 163 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
She also guided that the said AG reports have to be adopted by the house who then delegate any reviews of the reports to COSASE.
“Under rule 178 (4) the committee, upon receipt of the Auditor General’s report, is required to consider and examine the recommendations of the Auditor General and thereafter under rule 178 (5) to lay the report of the committee on the table for purposes of debate by the House under clause (5) of article 163 of the Constitution. Once the committee, as a delegate of the House, has tabled a report for debate, it has sufficiently discharged its burden and the report becomes property of the House,” Kadaga guided.
“Upon so doing if the report is adopted (like was the case in the matters of closure of commercial banks by bank of Uganda) it becomes a report of the Parliament of Uganda. The committee then stands discharged in respect of any authority of the House on the subject matter of the report,” Kadaga wrote,
She further told Munyagwa that: “It is evident that no other report has been authored by the Auditor General to Parliament in respect to closure of commercial banks in Uganda by Bank of Uganda 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.”
“Please be further advised that once the recommendations were adopted, it is incumbent upon the Government to respond by way of a Treasury Memorandum, which has not yet been done.”
“In light of the above findings, I am of the firm opinion that your action in trying to re-open a matter that has 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 the delegate the committee is, is not founded in the constitution or indeed in the rules of procedure of Parliament,” Kadaga ruled.
“I finally wish to draw your attention to Rule 219 of the Rules of Procedure which provides as follows:
“(It is out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question on which the House has come to a conclusion during the current Session.” It is evident that you are in breach of Rule 219.
I also draw your attention to Rule 219(2) “Notwithstanding sub-rule 1 the House may reconsider any question 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 went on to school Munyagwa.
“I note that no motion was moved either by you as Chairperson or by any other Member to that effect. I therefore propose and guide that you should refrain from further proceeding in relation to this matter until otherwise directed by the House,” she ruled.
WORLD ANTI-CORRUPTION WEEK: Where is the promised action on BoU officials implicated in multibillion irregular takeover and sale of 7 defunct banks?
On this day, 28th November, 2017 following several complaints about the irregular closure of several commercial banks by Bank of Uganda, the Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC – COSASE) vide letter requested the Auditor General (OAG)to undertake a special audit on the closure of 7 commercial banks by the Central Bank.
The seven banks are: Teefe Trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, Greenland Bank, Global Trust Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Crane Bank Limited.
Bank of Uganda tried and failed to block the audit and following the intervention of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, the Audit by the OAG started. PAC-COSASE would later re-convene in October 2018, to consider the report’s findings.
The OAG discovered a lot of rot at the central bank characterised by lack of systems and procedures in closing and selling off banks, insider dealing and failure to comply with the Financial Institutions Act (2004) among many other legal and corporate governance breaches.
For example, it was discovered that assets (loans) belonging to International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland bank, Cooperative Bank Assets (loans) amounting to Shs135 bn were sold to a one, M/S Nile River Acquisition Company at $5.25m (Shs8.9bn), causing a loss of Shs126 bn. The loan portfolio included Shs34 bn of loans that had valid, legal and equitable mortgage supported by proper legal documentation.
According to the OAG, the UGX8.9bn sale price, represented 26% of the total secured loan portfolio and 7% of the total loan portfolio!
In another shocking discovery, the Auditor General discovered that Bank of Uganda had not carried out any valuation of Crane Bank, as required by Section 95 (2) (a) and (b); and 95 (3)(a) and (b) but instead relied on dfcu’s valuation, raising questions as to how a seller can rely on a value set by the buyer.
As a result, the OAG found that BoU sold Crane Bank to dfcu bank at a bargain purchase price of Shs200bn payable over a period of 30 months. He also found that BoU either negligently and or intentionally failed to charge dfcu interest on this deferred payment, causing the tax payer a loss of UGX39.5 billion.
The Auditor General (AG) Mr John F.S Muwanga, also reported that out of UGX478.8bn that BoU claims was used to recapitalise Crane Bank, he couldn’t confirm that money amounting to UGX270bn actually went to bonafide beneficiaries.
These are just a few of the glaring acts of corruption, misuse of office and gross negligence uncovered by the OAG and PAC-COSASE.
The MPs in their February 2019 report, recommended that owners of the closed banks be compensated to the “commercially fair extent” possible for the ”financial loss occasioned.” They also asked that “all BoU officials who failed to properly execute their duties in accordance with the law should to be held responsible.”
But it is now going up to a year and despite several media reminders by the public, members of parliament, including the Speaker herself, no single action has been taken on these errant BoU officials.
The probe into former BoU Executive Director, Bank Supervision, Justine Bagyenda’s alleged illicit wealth by the Inspector General of Government, has never seen the light of day.
As the entire world prepares to celebrate the Global Anti-Corruption Day on December 2019, a befitting gift to Ugandans and the rest of the world by President Museveni, would be taking action on the recommendations of PAC-COSASE.
A shakeup of Bank of Uganda, would be a big message to all the corrupt that no matter who you are, there will be consequences for corruption.
BOOSTING AGRICULTURE: Busoga farmers receive tractors:
Government, through National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has given out 26 tractors to selected farmer groups and associations in the Busoga region to boost commercial farming in the area.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga handed over the tractors to the different farmer groups on Friday 22, November, 2019 at the Luuka District headquarters.
Kadaga asked the farmers to properly utilize the tractors for agricultural use in order to boost commercial agriculture and alleviate poverty.
“I do not want to see or hear that the tractors are being used to ferry people back and forth or transport merchandise because that will defeat the purpose of the struggle we as leaders have gone through to secure them,” she added.
The Speaker further commended the Minister for Presidency and Luuka District Woman MP, Esther Mbayo for effort in lobbying for Busoga Region to receive tractors.
Minister Mbayo urged the groups to appropriately utilize these tractors for their own development adding that, “it was no walk in the park getting them”.
“Please take care of these tractors so that they can serve and help you grow in your respective groups; we want to see a boost in agriculture,” she added.
The Minister listed the following beneficiary groups as; Bugiri District Farmers Association, Bugweri Commercial Farmers Cooperative Society Limited, Kiwemba Farmers Cooperative Society, Buwende Butagaya Cooperative Society, Kamuli District Farmers Association, Nawanyago Technical Institute among others.
The Speaker asked the groups to utilize the Kasolwe Stock Farm in Kamuli which is currently being rehabilitated to acquire training on better farming practices and better animal and plant variations.
In separate events, the Speaker officiated over the 27 year celebrations of Luubu Twezimbe Group of the Blind in Mayuge District. She promised to lobby the President for a special program to support activities for people with disabilities.
She also launched the Luuka District Boda Boda SACCO that the President donated Ushs24m to.
Commonwealth Parliamentary conference kicks-off in Munyonyo
The long waited Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) and Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians steering committee meeting have kicked off this morning at the Speke Resort Munyonyo with closed meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) regional secretaries.
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians steering committee will discuss the importance of monitoring for new parliamentarians and the promotion of women to leadership positions and senior portfolios.
The 64th Conference themed “Adaption, engagement and evolution of Parliament’s in a rapidly changing Commonwealth’’ will run-up to September 29, 2019. It has attracted 1,200 delegates from former colonies and territories of the British.
So far, up to 20 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of National and provincial Parliaments, as well as delegates, were on Sunday received by the Ugandan Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, the CPC designate president.
Among the notable figure is the CPA Chairperson, Emilia Monjowa, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon. The other Speakers and Deputy Speakers are from Lesotho, Kenya, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Virgin Islands, the Gambia, Malta, Fiji, Bermuda and others.
Also delegates from Bermuda, Guyana, Ghana, New Zealand, Australia, Cameroon, ESwatini, Fiji, Gambia, Malta, Seychelles, Tanzania, Djibouti, Canada, Kenya, India, Falkland Islands, Scotland, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Wales, Malaysia, Cayman Islands, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Virgin Islands and others.
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