IGG's Letter to ISO Angers Speaker Top story

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In short
Justice Mulygonjas letter hasnt gone down well the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, saying it is intended to muzzle parliamentary investigations, steal the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail parliament and its members in the performance of their constitutional mandate.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has blasted the Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja over her request to the Internal Security Organisation-ISO to investigate outgoing members of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises- COSASE for alleged bribery. 


On February 19th, 2019, Justice Mulyagonja wrote to Col. Kaka Bagenda, the Director General of ISO to investigate outgoing COSASE members led by their chairperson Abdu Katuntu for allegedly soliciting bribes during their inquiries into the closure and sale of several commercial banks.

The request was based on a complaint from undisclosed whistle blower indicating that during the inquiry Katuntu, his deputy, Anita Among, Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa, and Aruu North MP, Odonga Otto regularly met former Crane Bank Owner, Sudhir Ruparelia. 

According to the letter, the whistle blower claimed that the committee members pocketed bribes from Sudhir, which explains why they refused to hand over the committee leadership when their term of office expired. The whistle blower also reportedly claimed that Katuntu received Shillings 400 million from the Central Bank Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile for bench marking with other Central Banks, which he didn't declare and wasn't accounted for. 

It is alleged that it is for this reason that the committee members allowed Mutebile to feign ignorance that he knew nothing about the closure and sale of the commercial banks and wasn't made to take oath for cross examination like other BOU officials.
 
 Justice Mulygonja's letter hasn't gone down well with the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, saying it is intended to muzzle parliamentary investigations, steal the voice of the people, intimidate and blackmail parliament and its members in the performance of their constitutional mandate.
In her communication during plenary on Thursday afternoon, Kadaga noted that she was very surprised that the IGG didn't find it prudent or necessary to first consult with her office on the issues in the letter before carrying it to ISO.

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Kadaga noted that there was collaboration between her office and that of the IGG in the past where they shared information surrounding parliament. She faulted the IGG for alleging that Katuntu and Among recieved money from Sudhir and claiming that it is the reason they refused to hand over the committee leadership when their term of office expired.
Kadaga said this clearly implicates her as part of the racket, since she was the one who pushed the duo to complete investigations before handing over.     

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She said the IGG's letter is an attack on the immunity, dignity and honor of members of Parliament as guaranteed under the Parliament Powers and Privileges Act, Cap 258. Kadaga vowed not to allow anyone to blackmail Parliament during her tenure as speaker.
 

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In his reaction to Kadaga's communication, the Ajuri County MP, Hamson Obua wondered why the letter was written at the time Parliament was carrying out key investigation into the banking sector.

 
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The Fort Portal Municipality MP, Alex Ruhunda also wondered why the IGG asked ISO to investigate the committee yet the Inspectorate of Government was established by Parliament for the same purpose. 

 
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The Chua West County, Okin PP Ojara said that he is very much interested in knowing the source of the IGG's information concerning the COSASE probe. He welcomed the speaker's decision to refer the matter to the Rules and Privileges Committee of parliament.
 
 
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Kenneth Eitunganane Esiangu, the Soroti County MP noted that the IGG's letter was very disturbing and unacceptable, adding that it is an indication that she has failed in her mandate of investigating corruption.
 

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The Kasambya County MP, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa said the IGG's letter is meant to divert parliament from its mandate. He appealed to his colleagues to stick to their mandate; saying is ready to make recommendations on the closure and sale of commercial banks by the central bank. 
Kadaga asked the other arms of government to desist from interfering in the work of parliament.
 

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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.