Parliamentary committee sets up a team that will read all documents submitted by Bank of Uganda

By Edwin Muhumuza

The parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises(COSASE) yesterday decided to set up a team that will read all documents that are mainly confidentially submitted from Bank of Uganda for purposes of scrutiny. Chairperson, Abdu Katuntu said there will be no photocopying or taking photos of the documents to avoid leaking them to the public.

‘I set up a two-man committee involving one person from the NRM and one from the opposition, Hon Twesiime and Hon Medard Ssegona. They are going to be handling the confidential issues supervised by the vice. However, this information is not restricted to them because even members may access it for purposes of reading. No reproduction, No photocopies or even phones…’Katuntu said.

Meantime, the committee also accused Bank of Uganda of wrongfully closing Teefe Bank in 1993. Hon. Katuntu said that the then Finance Minister Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi did not have the power to order its closure on grounds that he based on the Bank Act of 1963 instead of the Financial Institutions Statute of 1993.

And as legislators began to point out more faults and seemingly about to condemn the Central Bank officials, there were appeals for patience at this stage of the probe.

‘now that we have ascertained their responses about the law, we are not going to judge anything at this point, let’s go through the process until the end, before we can make conclusions because we shall have heard all the information we need’ Katuntu remarked.

Earlier Bank Of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile was faulted over wrong and contradictions in his response about the dates of the closure of Teffe Bank. What was reflected in the response was not accurate according to the committee chair, Abdu Katuntu who noted that it was closed on 4th November 1993, and not in February 1993 as reported.

This amid arguments about the different legal regimes they acted to close it;1969 Bank Act or the Financial Institutions Statute 1993.

Members expressed disappointment amid calls for the Bank officials to go on oath, thus invoking powers of a High court to penalize witnesses over the contradictions.

While members mulled at the circumstances surrounding the failure of the Teefe Bank, Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile revealed that he would not intend to reopen any of the defunct banks. This while responding to queries from Aruu county MP, Odonga Otto. ‘In principal, I would never dream of reopening a bank I have closed before.’

The committee will meet BOU officials every day except Saturday and Sunday until they are done.

Uganda’s Parliamentary committee scrutiny for the defunct banks kick starts

The parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises has today started scrutinizing  the closure of the  defunct banks by questioning the criteria which was used to close Teefe bank.

The committee chaired by bugweri county mp Abdul katuntu quizzed the officials of the central bank headed by the governor Tumusime Mutebile on how they could close this bank without knowing its liability and assets.

The auditor general in his report noted that some of the documentation of Teefe trust bank where denied to his office. The committee now discovers that this bank was closed without an inventory report, However bank of Uganda’s  deputy governor Louis Kasekende in response said that the law by then did not require them to fill an inventory
report.

“ The nature of documents required at that time did not include the inventory so we don’t have that inventory as of now.’’ `It is true that the Financial Institution statute specifically provides for it, but any institution that is acting prudently if you’re taking over a bank, you can’t move in an institution take it over without documenting what you’re taking over, Katuntu replied

The meeting has now been adjourned to Thursday this week to allow BOU reorganize itself and Provide to the committee the list of assets and liabilities that were taken over by the central bank at the time of dissolving the bank.

A special audit on the closure of Teefe Trust Bank and six others commercial banks by the central bank  was ordered  by the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) in November 2017.

The  committee ordered for  the  auditor after  discovering  that Bank of Uganda  had not  provided the liquidation agent and period for Teefe Trust Bank since it was closed 25 years ago, despite the BOU liquidating  the assets of the bank.

Teefe trust bank was closed in 1993, by the central bank as it was deemed bankrupt. The  special audit report of the Auditor General queried the mistakes  in the closure of Teefe Bank , International Credit Bank Ltd Greenland Bank ,  Co-operative Bank , National Bank of Commerce ), Global Trust Bank (2014) and recently Crane Bank Ltd.

The auditor also observed that there were no guidelines in place to guide the identification of the purchases of the defunct banks.

Involve people in the redevelopment; Tumushabe

By Patricia Osman
Policy analyst Godber Tumushabe is advising the government to always involve residents in decision making when planning any redevelopment processes.
Responding  to the recent eviction of over 1000 vendors form park yard market in Kampala,Godber says redeployment usually  come with hard decisions however these should be made transparent and fair.
While deliberating on the Capital Gang show on Saturday, Tumushabe said, “as a country we should be brutally honest with ourselves as we assess the issues affecting this country.
During the same show gangster and legislator, Abdu Kantuntu expressed his disappointment saying these markets were formerly created for poor people but now the capitalist NRM is selling all these markets off  to rich developers. Whom he expresses fear that they are upto make profit through rating these arcades that are being built in the City.
Katuntu also adds that redevelopment should come with transparency. The process should be done in light and the developers should be clearly known by the people.