By our reporter
The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, Abdu Katuntu has for more than six months tried to get auditors to turn all stones in the Bank of Uganda, suspecting foul play in the closure of more than seven banks. His efforts were blocked by deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who stopped the motion to Investigate Bank of Uganda.
However this week Speaker Rebecca Kadaga sent an instructive to the Auditor General John Muwanga asking that he goes ahead to audit the closure of the seven banks including Teefe, Greenland, International Credit, Cooperative, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust and Crane banks. On Thursday forensic auditors raided the BoU and started the auditing process which is likely to cause some bank bosses trouble given the fact there were efforts to block the audit process.
The Speaker however was reacting to a letter by Mr Katuntu in which he stated his suspicion that Bank of Uganda bosses had something they were hiding from auditor.
Below, we reproduce the details of the letter from MP Abdu Katuntu to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asking her to direct the Auditor General to do his work at Bank of Uganda.
26th April 2018
The Speaker of Parliament
Parliament of Uganda
RE: SPECIAL AUDIT OF THE DEFUNCT BANKS
My attention has been drawn to a letter addressed to you by the Auditor General of even reference DCG97/353/01/17 dated 23rd April, 2018.
The above communication is in response to one dates 19th April 2018 of even reference DGV.122.10G from the Deputy Governor to the Attorney General copied to you among others.
Rt. Hon Speaker in November 2017 while considering the backlog of the Auditor General’s reports, it was found out by the committee tht there has been bever been any audit of all the defunct banks which were taken over by Bank of Uganda. There was never any report by Bank of Uganda on all the defunct banks. It has been over 20 years since some of these banks were taken over by Bank of Uganda.
The committee in its wisdom directed the auditor general to audit the said banks. I communicated this directive to the auditor general in a letter dated 28th November 2017 (copy us hereby attached). The process was conducted and an interim draft report was submitted by the auditor general on 10th april 2018 and copied to me. The said report raises very disturbing findings. However, Bank of Uganda refused the auditors to access any information in regard to two banks i.e. Crane Bank and National Bank of Commerce.
When the above was brought to my attention, I did communicate by letter dated 3rd April 2018 to the auditor general the directive of the committee. I labored to explain the audit process and distinguished it from the directive of the deputy speaker stated in his letter dated 3rd August 2017. The deputy speaker’s directive is: “Please note that the motion to investigate Bank of Uganda over its role in the supervision of financial institutions has been differed. Parliament shall continue monitoring the progress of the case.”
The audit process directed by committee has nothignto do with the Bank of Uganda roles in the supervision of the financial institutions. Therefore, it is wrong for the Deputy Governor to insinuate that the committee’s directive is a contradiction of the Speaker. The Auditor General has a constitutional duty to audit all htose public entities and we shall be setting a terrible precendent to have public institutions decide what shall be audited.
Without prejudice the interim/draft report clearly raises issues that should attract the attention of the serious institution. Copy of the interim report is hereto attached.
The purpose of this letter therefore, is to put the matter in perspective for your further guidance to the Auditor General.
Abdu Katuntu (MP)
Chairperson, Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises
cc. Rt. Hon Deputy Speaker
Clerk to Parliament