By: Our Reporter
There is an African proverb that says when a hunter is being hunted, there you know its not good news as usual, the media were awash with fresh development from corridors of power when the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja has ordered the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate MPs sitting on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over bribery allegations.
This comes a week after COSASE led by outgoing Chairperson Abdu Katuntu concluded the probe on the closure of 7 defunct commercial banks by the Central Bank. The committee last Thursday tabled its report and has been a subject of debate since Tuesday.
In a letter dated February 19, 2019, IGG Mulyagonja directs ISO Director General, Kaka Bagyenda to investigate COSASE MPs on bribery allegations after her office received a complaint that the MPs pocketed huge sums of money from the Central Bank and some of the shareholders of the defunct Banks and in particular Crane Bank.
According to IGG, the complainant alleges that BoU Governor Emmanuel Mutebile ‘bribed’ Katuntu with Shs400m to enable COSASE carry out a benchmarking exercise with other central banks.
“The money was not declared by Hon Abdu Katuntu and neither was it accounted for. This is one of the reasons the Governor was allowed to pretend that he knew nothing about any closed banks, was never put on oath and not closely examined like other BoU officials,” the letter reads.
The letter further alleges that Mutebile was also bribed with millions of dollars from Crane Bank proprietor Sudhir Ruparelia.
Mulyagonja says that the complainant in the report also alleges that COSASE members including Katuntu (Bugweri County), Deputy chair Anita Among (Bukedea District), Elijah Okupa (Kasilo County) and Odonga Otto (Aruu County) are close associates to Sudhir and that they received payment from the Ruparelias “which is suspected to be the real reason they refused to yield leadership of COSASE when its term ended.”
IGG also wants ISO to investigate allegations that Katuntu was one of the debtors of defunct Global Trust Bank at the time the Bank was closed on July 25, 2012. Katuntu reportedly owed the Bank Shs180m and that he is one of the reasons the Bank collapsed.
It is also alleged that BoU Executive Director in charge of Bank Supervision, Dr. Twinemanzi Tumubweine and COSASE MPs leaked confidential information to Sudhir and that Twinemanzi has often times visited him [Sudhir] at Speke Apartments and Kabira Country Club.
“This office has decided that ISO is in a better position to investigate this and we hereby refer the same to your office for investigation. We request that you provide us with a copy of the report of your findings and action taken on conclusion of your investigation,” IGG Mulyagonja says in her letter.
When IGG spokesperson Ali Munira was contacted on telephone, she confirmed that IGG had written the letter to ISO and that the IGG has the prerogative to delegate any potential institution to carry out an investigation on its behalf.
However, when the matter was brought on floor of Parliament by Padyere County MP Joshua Anywarach, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga also acknowledged receipt of the letter but added that it is a breach of separation of powers.
“I have received the letter written by the IGG to ISO asking him to investigate members of the committee so I will give it to the Prime Minister because this is a really a breach of separation of powers,” Kadaga said.