By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Members of Parliament in the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) have split over the wealth of Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende and former Executive Director in charge of Supervision Justine Bagyenda.
The probe in the closure of 7 defunct Banks on Thursday hit a stalemate after MPs demanded that a report detailing Kasekende’s wealth should be tabled publicly while COSASE chairperson Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) rejected the move saying that documents should be given to a sub-committee that has been handling confidential documents since the probe started.
The drama started after Aruu South County MP, Odonga Otto requested Katuntu to lay on table a list of properties owned by Kasekende in front of the cameras.
Otto further informed the Committee that he has documents showing how Kasekende’s wife Edith Kasekende received a sum of Shs1.9bn from Marx Advocates who were involved in the sale of Crane Bank Limited to Dfcu.
"I want to lay 72 properties belonging to the Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende, 20 of which are in his personal names,” Otto said.
No sooner had Otto attempted to lay the documents on table than Busiro East MP, Medard Sseggona raised procedural matter on whether it wouldn't be procedurally right to receive Otto's documents on a later date.
"Unless these documents are to be cross examined but for neatness of our work, we would need to dispose of the witnesses before us," Sseggona said.
This did not go well with Otto as others MPs also continued to grumble. He insisted that the documents should be laid on table before he was backed by Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa who said that Katuntu should not bend his rules but rather allow Otto to submit the documents.
In his ruling, Katuntu insisted that the documents are handed over to their sub-committee of 3 to scrutinize them before they are tabled. This sub-committee chaired by Anita Among who also doubles as COSASE Vice chairperson has been scrutinizing documents that Bank of Uganda deemed confidential.
Odonga Otto was not contented with this decision and continued to protest Katuntu’s ruling.
“The public desires to know why it was so motivational for these people to close the banks and as a chair our rules bear you from acting in anticipation, why decide so before receiving the documents?" Otto said who was equally backed by Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye.
This hullabaloo prompted Katuntu to suspend the committee for 30minutes before hastily calling for an in-house meeting. When the meeting resumed, Otto was allowed to table Kasekende’s wealth while Okupa tabled wealth of Justine Bagyenda, former BoU Executive Director in charge of Supervision which consisted of several bank accounts from different banks.