Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante has vowed to stop attending meetings chaired by Abdu Katuntu after the term of Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) expired on Sunday.
“The two-year term of office for COSASE ended on January 13,” said Kasibante.
“It’s high time the old committee stepped down to allow the new team led by MP Mubarak Munyagwa to take over,” he added.
The lawmaker further elaborated that Katuntu cannot continue chairing COSASE as the committee lacks the legal mandate to conduct business.
“As a matter of fact, I will not attend any more meetings of this outgoing committee,” Kasibante insisted.
Failure by Katuntu to hand over could lead to legal suits challenging the outcome of COSASE’s reports, costing the taxpayer millions of shillings.
This development comes against the backdrop of a bitter fight between the opposition which wants Katuntu’s team to hand over office after the expiry of its term and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who is determined to keep postponing the outgoing team’s term of office.
After Crane Bank Limited collapsed and was seized by Bank of Uganda, there have been visible efforts by associates of its former owner Sudhir Ruparelia to change the narrative and try to get the spotlight off his own misdeeds such as insider lending and fraud that brought the bank down.
The opposition is said to have been enraged by reports that COSASE was being used as a tool to divert attention from Crane Bank rot by focusing on mistakes made by the Central Bank in the closure of the defunct banks.
It was speculated that the outgoing COSASE committee intends to draft a report recommending compensation of Sudhir Ruparelia for the “loss” of his bank.
Crane Bank was taken over by BoU due to insolvency. The central bank had to pump more than Shs 400bn of taxpayers’ money as capital to meet the liquidity obligations to the financial institution’s customers.
Additionally, the COSASE has in recent months become increasingly identified with fake or falsified evidence.
MP Odonga Otto submitted land titles claiming they were owned by Deputy BoU Governor, Louis Kasekende only to be found forged.
Kadaga recently announced the COSASE team led by Katuntu and Anita Amongi would stay on the Committee till the disposal of the investigation on Bank of Uganda.
But the Leadership of Opposition in Parliament says refusal to vacate the positions would be undemocratic and illegal.
“We therefore need to grow a culture of peacefully and harmoniously handing over of power at the expiry of one’s term and should not set a precedent of having office bearers finding reasons to stay onto Offices beyond the specified term,” warned MP Betty Nambooze.
Katuntu has since said he is not dying to stay on the job but critics are wondering why he is not quitting after the expiry of his term.