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MPs summon Muhakanizi over BoU audit queries

COSASE summon Keith Muhakanizi. PHOTO via @pwatchug

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises- COSASE have summoned Keith Muhakanizi, the Treasury Secretary to explain audit queries raised by the Auditor General against Bank of Uganda (BoU).

COSASE Chairperson, Mubarak Munyagwa issued the summons on this afternoon following a botch meeting with BoU officials led by the Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende.

The officials had appeared to respond to audit queries raised by the Auditor General, John Muwanga in his reports for the year ended June 2016, June 2017 and June 2018.

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, MPs asked BoU officials to name the person responsible to account for funds availed to the Central Bank.

Kasekende referred to a letter from Muhakanizi in, which he designated the BoU Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile as the accounting officer of BoU.

The MPs tasked Kasekende in vain to produce the letter. Kasekende said the letter couldn’t be readily located and appealed for more time to avail it.

He however, told the Committee that BoU has no Vote under the National Budget and that the responsibility of the managing and approving the money lies with the BoU Board, which is chaired by the Governor.

With his explanation, the COSASE Vice Chairperson, Ibrahim Kasozi expressed concern about the availability of the letter designating Mutebile as the accounting officer and demanded that the meeting be postponed until BoU comes out clearly on the matter.

Munyagwa weighed in saying that the Governor cannot be an accounting officer and at the same time chair the BoU board, which is supposed to oversee his work.

Munyagwa dismissed Kasekende and his team and directed them to re-appear before the committee tomorrow alongside the Secretary to Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi.

Article 161 of the constitution vests the authority of BoU in the board, which comprises the Governor, Deputy Governor and other members.

These are all appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament.

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2015 gives the Secretary to the Treasury powers to designate accounting officers.

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