By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Embattled former Executive Director in charge of Supervision at Bank of Uganda, Justine Bagyenda will be required to deposit all her passports with Parliament, the parliamentary committee has ruled.
The committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) chaired by Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) on Monday resumed the probe on Bank of Uganda over the controversial closure of 7 Banks.
Katuntu ruled that Bagyenda who resurfaced before the committee, should with immediate effect deposit her passports with Parliament to avoid last week’s predicament where she flew out of the country on short notice amidst the ongoing probe. This comes at a time when Cosase is probing the circumstances under which Bagyenda with assistance from her aides sneaked out bags allegedly containing sensitive documents in regards to the closure of the 7 Banks.
It was Mbarara Municipality MP Michael Tusiime who reminded the committee that Bagyenda needs to hand over her passports while Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa added that the committee scrutinizes her passport to ascertain that she had actually traveled to the mentioned destination in her Thursday letter informing the committee of her absence.
Katuntu however, rejected MPs’ plea to confine Bagyenda until the probe is over.
“Ms Bagyenda, you will be required to deposit both passports with Parliament. I decline to use any powers of confinement. Let us have this process go on, she has apologized, and in the letter she wrote to us on Thursday, she told us she will be here and now she is here. We should not go beyond confinement,” Katuntu said.
This was after James Waluswaka (Bunyole County West) said that Bagyenda is 'kept' with Parliament till the probe is complete.
Earlier, Bagyenda apologized to the committee for her absence last week and promised to stay around until the probe is over. She also begged the committee to set free her driver, Job Turyahebwa and bodyguard, Juliet Adikorit who were last week arrested for giving false evidence to the committee despite being on oath.
Katuntu, however, declined to grant her the request, saying that “Justice is about the law taking its course".
“Both your driver and bodyguard lied on oath, and it’s a criminal offence. The matter was forwarded to police for management. However, the substantive issue of bags allegedly containing documents being sneaked out of the Bank is still on table for investigation, we don’t set people free, the law will take its course. It’s a big lesson to your colleagues not to lie on oath,” Katuntu said.