The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has told the chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) Mubarak Munyagwa that he is breaching parliament’s Rules of Procedure in trying to probe Bank of Uganda afresh.
Kadaga, who has so far received two petitions to stop Munyagwa from wasting taxi payer’s money with a new probe, told Munyagwa that his committee has a lot of work to do other than redoing work which was completely done by the same committee under his predecessor Abdul Katuntu and awaits implementation of recommendations.
In this letter, Kadaga expressly told Munyagwa to refrain from further proceedings in relation to the probe until otherwise directed by the House. Munyagwa after assuming office Katuntu decided to reintroduce Bank of Uganda probe which was exhausted by his predecessor.
Katuntu made report and recommendations on full orders of the Speaker on reference to the Auditor General’s report which exposed Bank of Uganda as having illegally sold off/ closed 7 commercial banks including Crane Bank which belonged to city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.
Kadaga wrote that under article 90(1) of the constitution, parliament is empowered to appoint committee’s necessary foe efficient discharge of its functions. She further stressed that it therefore goes without saying that committees are delegates of the house and as such are accountable to and indeed, carry out work on behalf of parliament.
She also quoted Articles 90(2) and 94(1) of the same constitution which empowers parliament with the Rules of Procedure of parliament, to prescribe the powers, composition and functions of the committees.
“It is this power that is exercised under rules 153, 154 and in particular instance 155 (1) (i) and 178 of the rules of procedure in creating and empowering COSASE”. Kadaga wrote.
She told Munyagwa that his committee draws its mandate from rule 178 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda which mandates COSASE to examine the reports and audited accounts of the Statutory Authorities , corporations and public enterprises and in context of their autonomy and efficiency , ascertain whether their operations are being managed in accordance with the required competence and where applicable in accordance with sound business principles and prudent commercial practices.
The speaker also lectured Munyagwa that the committee examines income and expenditure of any public corporation and state enterprises or anybody or organization established by an act of parliament together with the balance sheet and statement of profits and loss accounts which the auditor general may have been requested to prepare under the constitution or under the provisions of statutory orders regulating the financing of a particular corporation , enterprise or body and report of the auditor general on them.
“it is important to note that the work of Cosase as shown in 3 above and as stipulated under rule 178(3)emanates 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 added that “it is also very critical to note that the report of the Auditor General by virtue of rule 178(3) of the Rules of Procedure is first laid before the house before being referred to the committee for consideration.”
“It is evident that no other report of has been authored by the auditor general to parliament of Uganda in respect to the closure of commercial banks in Uganda by bank of Uganda to warrant an inquiry into the same committee. Similarly no authority of the house has been granted to freshly investigate the closure of commercial banks”.
Kadaga noted that “it is out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific questions upon which the house has come to a conclusion during the current session. It is evident that you are in bleach of rule 219”.
“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 refrain from proceeding in relation to this matter until otherwise directed by the house”.
Recently, Chairperson of COSASE Mubarak Munyagwa appointed a select subcommittee headed by Makindye East Member of Parliament (MP), Ibrahim Kasozi to probe BoU again especially over the Shs478 billion as that BoU claims it injected in Crane Bank limited (CBL) as liquidity support during its receivership that took place between October 20 2016 and January 25, 2017. BoU closed CBL due to undercapitalization.