Speaker Kadaga fires back at IGG over ISO letter

The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, has directed the committee on rules, discipline and privileges to summon Justice Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government to explain the move to investigate some legislators for allegedly taking a bribe during the just concluded probe into bank closures.

The IGG recently wrote to the Internal Security Organisation to investigate some Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprise (COSASE), over bribery allegations.

Speaker Kadaga, however, described IGG’s directive, to the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate some MPs on the COSASE as an attack on parliament and an attempt to frustrate parliamentary investigations on Thursday parliamentary sitting as they debated COSASE report.

“So you are going to see ISO coming here to check on the Speakers’ letters did she write, did she refrain. This is what the IGG wants.”

Justice Mulyagonja’s letter to Speaker Kadaga, accused COSASE chairman, Abudul Katuntu, his Deputy Anita Among and two other MPs, Kasiro MP Elijah Okupa and Aruu MP Odonga Otto for obtaining bribes from former proprietor of Crane Bank Sudir Luparelia, owner of the defunct Crane Bank during the Committee’s investigations into closure of the seven Commercial Banks in Uganda.

Katuntu in the letter is allegedly accused of receiving 400 million shillings from Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the Bank of Uganda governor to facilitate members to benchmark with other Central Banks in the region and elsewhere.

“Honourable members, you know if she had called me, I would be able to tell her that there was no benchmarking which she wants to investigate. Benchmarking is with my authorisation, therefore, I am also being accused of facilitating some benchmarking. They did not apply, they did not go, I did not authorise,” Speaker Kadaga, said.

Relatedly, the letter also indicated situations that Katuntu deal done in handing over the COSASE seat to Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Muyagwa in January 2018.

Speaker Kadaga, extended Katuntu’s term to allow him and the Committee conclude their investigations into the closure and sale of seven commercial Banks.

“I don’t see how the Inspector general can determine how what’s done in this house. it’s wrong. So, the real reason was that they were getting money and that means that I was also part of that money. That’s what it means,” Kadaga expressed her distress over IGG’s letter.

“This parliament has a Constitutional mandate, to legislate, to represent the people of Uganda, to do over sight and to abrogate and the organ of the State also have their responsibilities. I am wondering how the IGG can even get the audacity of asking ISO to investigate when the IGG was established by this very parliament to investigate. So, what’s wrong with this IGG,” Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said.

Kadaga later on directed parliamentary committee of Rules, Discipline and Privileges to summon IGG Justice Mulyagonja, to make a statement on her letter she issued.

“Casually directing ISO to investigate us? So, members of rules Committee take up this matter and advise us on the way forward.”

Kadaga, further, issued warning to other organs of government and institutions that parliament will not allow any organisation or individual to minimise the independence of legislature.

“I have been very careful in not interfering in any way, in the work of the Judiciary. I attacked them when they tried to morsel us, that one I did, I can accept that because they tried to close our mouth.”

Katuntu also expressed his view on the IGG’s take, saying that they are not afraid of her move because they have the confidence in what they did.

“Instead of doing her job, she wants to hunt people who are doing our job. Please! Please! We will not be bully and I repeat we will not be bully by these machinations. And the house is strong, the speaker is strong and we are also very, very strong on it.”

Fights between the IGG and legislators seem to be emerging, but the question is, will Justice Mulyagonja avail herself before the Committee and disclose the source of information she based on? Parliament is waiting and the public is waiting.