By Andrew Irumba
Uganda Law Society (ULS) is the latest to come out boldly to support speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s move to extend the tenure of the current leadership for parliament’s Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) until it concludes its probe on BoU, Spy Uganda reports.
Counsel Simon Peter Kinobe, the President of Uganda Law Society has noted that the current team led by Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu and Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among has nearly completed the exercise and any interruption now would scale back the progress registered in the investigation and render the invested resources into the process so far a waste, yet the time asked for them (two weeks) to produce a report is not that long.
The Uganda Law Society is a constitutional Body mandated to provide legal guidance wherever an impasse arises.
It was formed by an act of Parliament in 1956 and is governed by an executive council with representatives from each of the four regions of Uganda.It is a member of the East African Law Society, which also includes member countries Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
In a similar Development, Buliisa County Mp Stephen Mukitale Birahwa Adyeeri (Former Committee Chairman on National Economy) said the impasse would be addressed by allowing Mubarak Munyagwa and Moses Kasibante (new leaders) to sit in the morning to handle other pending business awaiting the committee but allow the Katuntu/Among team to continue with the Bank of Uganda Probe until its concluded. This he said is a middle ground.
While speaking to the press at his office at parliament on Thursday, the Speaker said Ms Aol was in a difficult position without any chances of implementing what she tells the media.
She said her position stands and no one can alter it, because she is the head of the institution of parliament.
“I am the speaker of the House, I am the head of this institution and my proposal is good for the institution. We’re doing this not for parties but for the good of the country,” she said.
ULS is not the first to speak in support of the Speaker. Few days ago City reknown legal brain Nicholas Opio said it was legal to allow the Katuntu led committee finish its work on BoU specifically but also allow the new team led by Kawempe MP Mubarak Munyagwa take office to handle other business.
Majority NRM MPs also last week came out and backed the speaker on the extension.
COSASE is currently winding up its probe into the alleged illegal sale of seven commercial banks, by the Bank of Uganda, and according to the Speaker, the current leadership should continue until a report is produced.
Kadaga said it would be unfair to change leadership of COSASE at this crucial stage.
However, the FDC leadership in Parliament led by Betty Aol Ochan, the Leader of Opposition, objected to the decision claiming there were “some vested interests” in the extension.
Katuntu, who many say has done a fine job, said he was willing to relinquish the leadership of the committee,but was quick to add that rumours that he has vested interests in the BoU was a total ‘street talk’ which would not take his time.
Kadaga extended their term by just two weeks (Feb 2019) within which they are to finish the report and table it before parliament for discussion.
The closed banks include; Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) that was sold to dfcu in 2016.