MPs reject Museveni proposal to have BoU probe behind closed doors

Cosase Chairman Abdu Katuntu. 

PresidentYoweri Museveni on Monday said the ongoing Parliamentary probe into Bank ofUganda’s closure of seven commercial banks should be done behind closed doors,but MPs insist the proceedings will be conducted in the open.

As the MPs on Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) continue to expose dirt in the BoU dealings, with many of the proceedingscovered on live television, Museveni admits there are “problems” in BoU but he said on Monday that it should have been “in camera”.  

“I think the procedure is wrong, because this is Bank of Uganda. If you want to investigate it, why don’t they do it quietly because you can investigate in camera so that what people see is action, not endless arguments. Whereas the inquiry is good, the committee is doing it in a wrong way,” Museveni said.

The MPs however insist that for the sake of transparency, they will continue to carry out the probe in the open, whilst respecting confidential information.

“We have kept our word right from the beginning that all information that will come to our possession as confidential, we shall keep it as such [and] as of today, no one will accuse us of leaking any confidential information that we have received because we know that BoU is the regulator of a very sensitive sector, which operates on the confidentiality to some extent,” said committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu. 

The MPs are investigating the closure and sale of seven commercial banks including Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998),Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce(2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and the sale of Crane Bank Ltd (2016) that was controversially sold to DFCU in January 2017.

This follows an Auditor General’s report that pointed to possible corruption and connivance within Bank of Uganda and beneficiaries who took over the closed banks.