Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Thursday faced a stalemate in its probe into the sale of Crane Bank Limited (CBL) forcing the sitting to be suspended for 30 minutes.
This came after Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto requested the Committee Chairperson, MP Abdul Katuntu to allow him table a list of properties owned by the Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende.
Otto had earlier put the committee on notice that he would be availing a set of document to the committee with proving that the wife to Kasekende had received a sum of Shs 1.9bn from Marx Advocates who had been procured for legal counsel during the sale of Crane Bank Limited to DFCU.
The legislator later returned to the committee and lay on table documents purportedly proving that Kasekende owned 72 properties.
“Mr. Chairman, as I had put you on notice earlier, as a practicing advocate, there are documents that can help dispose off several matters. I want to formerly lay before the committee some documents and at an appropriate time, i will also lay them on the floor of Parliament,” Otto said.
“The documents show what is going on in these bank closures. I want to lay 72 properties belonging to the Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende, 20 are in his personal names,” Otto said.
Hardly had Otto began to submit, than Busiro East MP, Medard Ssegona raised a point of procedure seeking the Chairperson’s intervention. He asked that the documents be presented on a later date.
“Unless these documents are to be cross examined, but for neatness of our work, we would need to dispose of the witnesses before us,” Ssegona said.
However, MP Otto insisted that the documents he sought to table were of great relevance to the committee sitting since according to him, they were proof that the BOU officials were selling off the banks to enrich themselves.
Kasiro county MP, Elijah Okupa interjected asking the Chair to hold his ruling but allow Otto lay the documents on table.
In his ruling, Katuntu said that it would be prudent that a committee of three people is constituted to examine the documents before they are tabled.
This was however challenged by Otto who noted that it would be so absurd if Parliament refused to receive the said documents yet they were availed to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and nothing has ever been done.
“The public desires to know what was the motivation behind the closure of the banks and as Chair, our rules barr you from acting in anticipation. Why decide so before receiving the documents?” Otto asked.
Otto’s submission was seconded by Buhweju County MP, Francis Mwijukye who suggested that the committee receives the documents before they are referred to a sub-committee for review.
This prompted more reactions from the committee members which forced Katuntu to suspend the proceedings for 30 minutes to reach a decision.