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BoU scandals linked to Mutebile succession-Katuntu

FILE PHOTO: Abdul Katuntu

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Bugweri County Member of Parliament, Abdul Katuntu, says there is need to address Governance issues in Bank of Uganda-BoU to curb scandals rocking the central bank.

Katuntu, who chaired the Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise-COSASE, says there is a big fight between the Governor BoU, Emmanuel Mutebile Tumusiime and his Deputy, Louis Kasekende over his succession.

Mutebile’s contract expires in 2021 while that of Kasekende expires in 2020. Katuntu also notes that BoU officials are very powerful and only report to themselves.

Katuntu was reacting to the debate on the controversy surrounding the extra cargo that transport on the charted flight transporting cash to Uganda. BoU chartered a plane to transport 20 pallets containing Ugandan currency.

However, there were 25 pallets aboard the plane when it finally landed at Entebbe International Airport raising suspicion that BoU officials could have printed extra cash for themselves.

Preliminary investigations show that the extra pallets belonged to 13 agencies and private individuals including the United Nations, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ministry of Health, APTECH and Mandela Millers among others.

However, Katuntu believes the Governance issues at BoU and the fact that the BoU Board doesn’t report to any one including the President and Finance Ministry makes them untouchable.

He also notes that currently, the BoU Governor is also the board chairperson, which compounds everything.

Katuntu says while probing the sale of the defunct banks, they encountered several threats includes calls to stop the probe,  but parliament threw its weight behind the committee.

Katuntu’s statement comes after the Minister of Finance in charge of planning, David Bahati said Government was still investigating the issue of the extra pallets. Bahati urged Ugandans not to speculate on the matter but wait for police investigations.

The Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa demanded that Government be given a time frame, under which to report to Parliament. She also demanded that Government releases details of the extra pallets instead of keeping information from the Public.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga gave the Government up to mid-July to bring a detailed statement in regards to the BoU investigations.

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