'NO ONE CAN BLACKMAIL THE SPEAKER' - KADAGA WARNS BOU'S SEKABIRA
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has warned Bank of Uganda’s Director Financial Markets Development Coordination Benedict Sekabira, not to attempt to intimidate or blackmail Parliament as it debates the report of the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises arising out of the just concluded probe into the operations of the Central Bank.
In her communication during plenary on Tuesday afternoon, Kadaga disclosed that she had received a number of documents from Sekabira and Ms JN Kirkland and Associates raising concern on some of the findings, conclusions and recommendations by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Kadaga said in order to ensure fairness, she had directed the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige to scan the documents and distribute them to legislators so that they can take them into account during debate on the report.
She also said that she would give the authors of the COSASE report an opportunity to clarify on some of the issues raised in the letters should they feel it necessary.
However, Kadaga took exception to parts of Sekabira's letter where he indicates that in the event that his concerns are not addressed, he will have no option but to conclude that the speaker and COSASE are biased against him.
Kadaga concluded that this was intended to blackmail her and arm-twist parliament and its committees.
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On Thursday last week, COSASE presented its probe report following investigations into the closure of seven commercial banks by the Central Bank.
The report recommended that all Central Bank Officials implicated in the sale of the loan portfolios of five closed banks be held personally liable.
The banks include International Credit Bank, Greenland Bank, Cooperative Bank, Global Trust Bank and National Bank of Commerce.
The report particularly singled out Sekabira, the then Director Commercial banking and Justine Bagyenda, the former Executive Director Supervision, saying they had conflict of interest in the transactions.
COSASE also recommended that the Inspector General of Police immediately seizes all land titles of the five defunct banks in possession of city lawyer Kakembo Katende of M/s JN Kirkland and SIL Investments, a loan collection company.
Investigations into the closure of Banks indicated that the Central Bank employed Kakembo Katende to secure a company that can buy the loans of the defunct banks.
According to COSASE, Kirkland identified M/s Octavian Advisors, which incorporated M/s Nile River Acquisition Company in Mauritius as a special purpose vehicle.
The company entered a contract with the Central Bank to collect loan from the customers of the defunct banks. COSASE says that JN Kirkland and Associates ended up as the local agent of the M/s Nile River Acquisition Company with rights to run an account in Citi Bank where all recoveries of the sold loan portfolio are deposited.
It was also established that Nile River Acquisition later contracted SIL Investments to carry out the mandate and they have been collecting money from different debtors since 2008.
However, COSASE failed to locate Nile River Acquisition Company concluding that the debt collection mandate extended to SIL Investments is illegal. Katuntu faulted Sekabira before Parliament.