Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa, who is also the newly appointed Chairperson of the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), has broken silence on the current standoff between the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and Opposition Chief whip, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, over extending the tenure of the leadership of COSASE.
COSASE under the leadership of MP Abdu Katuntu, is currently leading a probe into the Central Bank regarding the closure of seven defunct banks but their term will be ending later this month.
FDC already appointed MP Munyagwa to succeed Katuntu but the Speaker in a letter to the opposition chief whip in December, asked him to delay substituting the current leadership until February to allow it complete their investigations.
She said changing leadership at this “crucial” stage could jeopardize the investigations, something the opposition leadership opposes on a basis that it violates Parliamentary rules of procedure.
Now, Munyagwa who is currently out of the country, on Friday told one of the local TV stations that he doesn’t see a reason for the Speaker insists on the extension yet the committee has has according to him, not delivered much on matters of national issues.
Muyagwa said Katuntu and his team have done nothing but thrive on causing public excitement with no substantial conclusive reports on their investigations.
He cited a case in August 2017 when Bank of Uganda officials appeared before the same committee and disclosed that they bought 350 pens for the Central Bank’s Golden Jubilee celebrations at a cost of Shs 125m.
“You open up an investigation, you excite the public, you set everybody into anxiety at the end of the day, no report is issued,” he commented on Friday.
“Is it the first investigation on BoU? What happened to the golden pens – pens which were bought at whooping sums, where is the report? It was BoU involved, where is the report?” asked a furious Munyagwa.
He said that he knows all that is and has been going on in Bank of Uganda and that the public should not misinterpret his silence on the issue for not having a contribution to his country.
“I want to make it clear to the country that I have been silent because I am out of the country. It is not because I don’t feel the pain inside, it is not because I am not a Ugandan. I am a Ugandan who has got a right to serve my country,” explained Munyagwa
He has asked that MP Katuntu hands over the committee leadership since he is not the first one to head it, citing FDC Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat and MP Ssemujju Nganda who have led COSASE before.
Yesterday, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, stuck to her guns when she told reporters at Parliament that the extension must be effected, saying she is the head of the institution and all she does is for the good of the country.
But, Munyagwa didn’t have kinds words for Kadaga either. He said that the Speaker out to exercise her powers within the confines of the rules of procedure.
“Anyway, do not push me, I know a lot and I am coming back to Uganda. I respect the Speaker, I know the range of her powers, but those powers must be exercised judiciously,” he said.
Munyagwa said that just like former KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi attempted to deny him chance to serve and failed, the Speaker will not be successful.