No One Can Black Mail Speaker,Parliament: Kadaga Warns BoU’s Ssekabira, Kirkland

No One Can Black Mail Speaker,Parliament: Kadaga Warns BoU’s Ssekabira, Kirkland

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By Andrew Irumba

Kampala:The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has on Tuesday afternoon warned Bernard Ssekabira, the Director Financial Markets at Bank of Uganda against blackmailing her office and parliament.

This follows a damning letter she reportedly received from Mr.Ssekabira where he, without mincing words, warned the speaker that her office would be held in contempt should she go ahead and allow the just tabled report by Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in regard to the closed defunct banks to be debated by the entire house, because he and his other colleagues from the central bank were not satisfied with its findings.

Wrote to Speaker: Mr.Benedicto ssekabira hands over bank documents to COSASE C/Man during the probe at parliament recently. 

Ssekabira, in his own words also warned the speaker of the looming legal proceedings against her,her office and the August house should the debate proceed on the report.

Speaker Kadaga officially opened debate on the report in question on Tuesday where she begun by reading an extraction from Ssekabira’s letter to her office.

Mr.Ssekabira, in his letter raised concerns on some of the key findings and recommendations of the report some of which hold the bank officials personally liable for a number of omissions/commissions that led to the closure of seven commercial banks.

The COSASE report that was presented to the house last week on Thursday recommended that the central bank officials involved in the sale of loan portfolios for the five defunct banks be held personally liable. This, our source said is where Mr.Ssekabira and colleagues find a big challenge arguing that whatever they were doing was for the ‘good’ of the banking sector, having been employees of the Central Bank.

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.

The report pinned Benedicto Ssekabira and former Executive Director Bank supervision Justine Bagyenda as people who had a conflict of interest in the transactions.

In her communication to parliament on Tuesday afternoon while opening session, Kadaga, who didn’t divulge into the details of Mr. Ssekabira’s letter noted that the central bank official concluded that once his concerns are not looked into by the Speaker, it will only indicate that the speaker herself and the entire COSASE committee connived and treated him with bias in the probe done on BoU officials in regard to closure of the defunct banks!

“I would like to take exception to part of the content of the letter of Ssekabira where he says; “In the event that my requests for a hearing aren’t met, I will have no option but to sue you who is the Speaker and COSASE”. I don’t know Ssekabira, I have never met him in my life, so I don’t know why I should be biased against him.” Speaker wondered.

She described Ssekabira’s letter as an attempt to blackmail her, “I think he is trying to blackmail me, Parliament, and the Committee. I want to warn that nobody can blackmail this House, no one can blackmail the Speaker and they should stop further attempts.”

The Speaker wondered how Mr. Ssekabira would accuse her of bias arguing that she has no interest in COSASE and neither does she have in any other committee, “They are all Committees of this House. I don’t know this man; I have never talked to him nor even sat with him. And I want to remind the public that the works of the Committees are duties stipulated by law.”

She added: “ It is this House that gives work to these committees, so it is work for us and the public, so let no one try to arm twist and blackmail us in performing our statutory duties. The duties were given to us under the constitution.”

Kirkland in their letter to the Speaker argued that the report contains very many false and misleading observations stating; “A number of conclusions were reached on are false and fabricated information against our firm and indeed our managing partner without affording us the right to be heard as required by the constitution.”

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga chairs attentive session on Thursday as Katuntu presented damning report after three months of work.

The firm argued that they were not given an opportunity to look at the draft report and were not called to an exit meeting on this part of the report and called on Parliament to correct the record, “The said part of the report contains many observations that are based on speculation and conjecture, blatantly false and fabricated information several recommendations that are illegal on account of violation of the constitution and other laws of Uganda.”

They also threatened legal action against Parliament saying the August House should not be misled into adopting this part of the report while it contains such glaring faults of a legal land and factual nature.

The letter read in part; “We have submitted this information to your office to draw attention to these very serious concerns with the hope that your office and the Parliament of Uganda will take the opportunity to correct the record, failing which we shall be left with no alternative but to challenge the report in courts of law and seek judicial redress.”

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