A group of political leaders in Bunyoro region have launched a campaign in a bid to save Finance Minister Matia Kasaija from censure by Parliament over the acquisition and utilization of the $200m Preferential Trade Area (PTA) loan.
The campaign dubbed ‘Defend Kasaija to promote Bunyoro interests’ is spearheaded by, among others, former Presidency minister Kabakumba Masiko.
Ms Masiko said Mr Kasaija must be defended because he is a victim of circumstances.
“Shs700 billion is not mere change of a few notes to leave the treasury just like that without the authority and knowledge of the principal. I trust that the Attorney General will do a good job but there are issues that the AG won’t address like the politics involved. Even Hon Kasaija himself might never be able to disclose hence the need for an alternative voice and in time,” she said.
Ms Masiko said Kasaija is simply the political head of a ministry with many key players, including the President.
Mr Bright Alinaitwe Bright, a resident of Kibaale district, said: “We can’t allow him lose his position because many projects in Bunyoro have been going on because of his presence at the ministry of Finance.”
“We will fight and defend Kasaija using any powers within our reach,” Alinaitwe added.
Mr Ismail Kasoha, a resident of Kibaale, said: “I don’t see any problem with our dear honorable. We shall mobilise our elders from the kingdom since it’s the biggest and a uniting institution we have here.”
Dr Geoffrey Bisoborwa, a resident of Hoima district, said Kasaija has a very good heart for Bunyoro.
“He has put people from Bunyoro in national positions and all are very competent,” Dr Bisoborwa said.
The campaign has since moved to social media after which they plan to petition Parliament and the President.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee recommended that Mr Kasaija be censured for misleading Parliament and obtaining the $200 million PTA loan by false presence.
The committee further recommended that the Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi should be relieved of his office for superimposing his authority during the processing of the loan.
The loan in question was sourced from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) against the technical advice of the Bank of Uganda Governor, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.