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Archive for the tag “Abdu Katuntu”

Opinion: Katuntu now have to bite the bullet!

Abdu Katuntu got to keep the position and chairman of the Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on overtime to finish a report on the closure of 7 defunct banks in the Republic. He got the lifeline by the Speaker Rebecca Kagada in Parliament in January, as he wasn’t ready to deliver the report.

Katuntu as the MP who ran the committee decided on when to drop the report, which the report was dropped on the 19th February 2019. Now, today the IGG letter of the 19th February 2019 asked the Internal Security Organization (ISO) to look into the investigations and the possible kick-backs for a lenient report, which this was. The Report dropped was sleek, soft and guarded. Therefore, the question of what the COSASE is shielding or didn’t dig into could come into question.

If there was some bankers, some inside Bank of Uganda or anyone else of the Stakeholders of the defunct banks would enforce kick-backs to the Chairman and the Committee wouldn’t be surprising in relations to this is the Republic of Presidential Handshakes. In the Republic where the MPs are paid for voting in favour of favourable bills and motions of the Presidents agenda. Therefore, the initial idea of the IGG fits the state of affairs.

BUT, this is a hit-job, as this is leaked as the COSASE is getting new leadership, as the report has been delivered to the public and to the Parliament. The IGG and AG could act upon the work that Katuntu delivered. Nevertheless, there are more stakes at hand, as there are invisible hands overshadowing, as the cronies and investors, whose could be close to the President could be implicated. That is why the President was so adamant statements about the whole investigation and that it should have been done behind closed-doors. However, that didn’t happen.

Katuntu thought he did good, thought he delivered for the ones he made promises too. He thought with the extended time and promise of leverage, that he wouldn’t be hit. However, the President and his security organization is still on a vengeance. They are retaliating now, because the state suddenly looks into it. Because, the state is trying to save face.

It is weird timing that they are starting to investigate now, as they could have looked into the issues within the BoU before this, as there was plenty of banks closed wrongfully. Still, it didn’t matter then, but now it does. That looks weird and looks like a hit-job.

That Katuntu is now the latest victim… not the last, whose being used, tricked and later discarded. Peace.

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A brief look into the COSASE Report: Digest the lack of due diligence!

Well, sooner or later this report was bound to happen as the deadline of the Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) report into 7 defunct banks in the Republic. It had to be interesting to see how the National Treasury or National Bank, the Bank of Uganda handled it, as the Bank have been going around all cowboy and not with protocol. As the proper guidance nor minutes have arrived to the COSASE as the months of investigations has gone on.

As well, the lack of trust between the parties, lawyers and stakeholders itself. Therefore, the report, had to stinking of it, the lack of due diligence and care for delivering proper craftsmanship, where the profession and their ethics are shining true.

Instead the process of investigation have shown utter contempt of honesty and transparency, as documents have gone missing and people have taken trips away, while they were supposed to testify to the Committee.

That is the introduction. Let’s dig into the mess, which was unleashed today on the 21st February 2019.

The committee further observed that there are no documents relating to the post closure and management of Teefe Trust Bank assets and liabilities. This further complicates the process of winding up including resolving claims and some securities still in possession of the Central Bank” (COSASE, P: 9, 2019).

No inventory report was availed in respect of ICB but an inception report for liquidation by the Liquidation Agcnt (KPMG) dated 30th September 2001” (…)”without a proper inventory report, BoU did not know what it was taking over in terms of entirety of assets and value. Accordingly, BoU acted in breach of section 32 (3), of the FIS, 1993” (COSASE, P: 10, 2019).

Sold on the Same Day:

What further the report states is that the National Bank of Commerce was closed and sold on the same day. This being done on the 27th September 2012. The takeover and sale took only 6 hours time and was in convention of the FIA. The same actions happen to Global Trust Bank (U) Limited, which was closed and sold on the same day, on the 25th July 2014. This was also done in convention of the FIA.

While on Crane Bank:

The auditors produced the inventory report on 21st of December 2016 however, BoU had invited DFCU to bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL on 9nd December 2016 and subsequently DFCU submitted the bid on the 20th December 2016 a day before the production of the inventory report” (…) “BoU did not carry out valuation of the assets and liabilities of CBL. BUT relied on the inventory report and due diligence undertaken by DFCU to accept their bid to arrive at the P&A. However, the final inventory report was submitted on 13th January 2017. In essence, the final inventory report was never used in evaluating the bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL” (COSASE, P: 12 & 13, 2019).

Selling assets on discounts:

In the case of ICB, Greenland Bank and Co-operative Brank, the total loan portfolio sold of UGX 135bn included secured loans of UGX 34.5bn which had valid legal or equitable mortgage on the real property and were supported with legal documentation BUT were sold, to M/s Nile River Acquisition Company at 93% discount” (…) “Whereas the GTB and NBC discount percentages of 20 and 30% respectively appear reasonable, the 93% discount in respect of the loan portfolio of ICB, Greenland Bank and Co-operative Bank acquired by M/s NRAC was incredibly outrageous” (COSASE, P: 23-24, 2019).

Winding Up:

The winding up process of all the defuct banks has taken an unjustifiably long time to settle creditor claims. For Teefe Trust Bank (26 years), Co-operative Bank (20 years), ICB (21 years), Greenland Bank (20 years), NBC (7 years), GTB (5 years) and CBL (2 years)!!! Regrettably, many of the creditors and shareholders have and indeed continue to die” (…) “Due to absence of documents, it was not possible to ascertain whether the UGX.9 1 .22bn used to settle customer claims of ICB, Cooperative bank and Greenland bank went to the bonafide beneficiaries. The absence of documents could among others be attributed to the long delay in concluding the winding up process” (COSASE, P: 39, 50 2019).

This is really just a proof of some of the mismanagement and quotes that proves how the Bank of Uganda didn’t do due diligence. They didn’t fix the issues, neither the work that was needed for the distressed financial institutions, the BoU didn’t follow the laws and statutes. All of the banks seems to be closed without protocol. Without proper documentation, neither overlooking assets and the securities.

Therefore, the Bank of Uganda … have not acted as the Central Bank and having the supervisory role over the financial market. They have surely acted in ill-will and not like they are supposed too. If not, these seven banks shouldn’t been closed like this, even closed and sold within 24 hours. Peace.

Opinion: Kadaga’s lifeline to Katuntu shows Parliamentary Rules are only for show!

That MP Abdu Katuntu gets to hold the Chair of the COSASE as the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga allows him to continue the Probe into Bank of Uganda (BoU) and the scandals it entails. This is like shady play, because if Katuntu are allowed to stay, what offers have they given to prolong his term as the chair of Committee in Parliament? Isn’t the legal protocol abiding for the lawmaker and MP?

Alas, that is just showing the mere disgraceful display of ignorance, the chronic cronyism and the patronage of the state. Even if Katuntu is waving the flag of an opposition party and being an MP for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). His acts of overstaying is the same of the ruling regime. He is just waiving differently in the elections, but when in power. The man has trouble emulating the ones he is supposed to oppose and defy.

That the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga allows the MP to be the Chair until the probe of the closure of banks done by BoU. Just shows the mere reflection of how the state doesn’t care about the laws or abiding to it. When it comes to their own. They trust Katuntu, that he will deliver the recommendations and the verdict that the state wants. If not, they wouldn’t have let him continue.

This even as the MPs are supposed to follow Rule 146, which sets an MP is only allowed to be 2,5 years at a Committee. That is clearly done, so they can ensure that they are getting more portfolio and not to connected in one field. As the connections and the cronies can team up, stop the back-log and also the lack of reports being discussed in the Plenary Session. Maybe, that is also why the Katuntu want to stay. As he has certain favours to uphold.

We can really question, as the final ending of the investigation of the BoU cannot be that important, unless the patronage around Kadaga and the President. Are planning to bury the report and make it as pointless, as certain other Parliament Reports, which are as stale as very old wall-paint after years of bad weather.

We can wonder why Kadaga fights over the rules made for the 10th Parliament, the rules made to ensure transparency and accountability of the Parliament. The 10th Parliament rules should be hold, especially by the Speaker. If the Speaker doesn’t care, should the chambers be invaded by strangers and also fake evidence for the Parliament, because if the terms doesn’t matter. Does anything else?

If the COSASE Committee terms becomes pointless, than what else is pointless dear Speaker? We can just wonder, why do the Parliament have protocol and guidelines anyway? If the Speaker doesn’t follow them or can change her mind?

That is how it looks like and how can we trust this probe, when the chair of the committee can just override the rules. Gets extended and violate the laws to finish a probe into dealings done by the BoU. We can really wonder if the report will be juicy or be watered down juice. Certainly, I cannot trust it now. Not that I ever did, but before, they at least acted like they cared about protocol. Now, it is just pointless exercise of power. Without any rules, as the Speaker can overrule everyone. As she wants. That is the memo, we have gotten this week. Peace.

Forum for Democratic Change: ‘Re: Change of Opposition Leadership in Parliament’ (06.08.2018)

My take on the FDC Reshuffle: Entitlement and Political Maturity doesn’t goes hand-in-hand!

When Alexander the Great visited the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: ‘Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.’ It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.” – Henry Hazlitt ( Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics).

There been some bad blood after the Forum of Democratic Change (FDC) reshuffle of the shadow cabinet. This piece will tell how I sees it, maybe you will disagree, but everyone see things differently. Everyone should see themselves as representatives of the constituency and the party they are representing. They are not their on their own pocket and will, they are there for a reason. If that is forgotten, than these leaders should be changed, maybe that is why the FDC Party President changed a few. They needed a lesson of humility, as the leadership should be moved, to progress and also get new ideas into the bodies. There been reactions, especially by some.

The reacting the hardest is the likes of Aruu MP Odonga Otto, Bugweri County and MP Abdu Katuntu. The ones who haven’t said anything is Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kiiza and Aswa County MP Ronald Reagan Okumu. Even if all of these MPs was dropped from the shadow cabinet and changed by the Central Leadership this week, as the sweep of changes done by the Forum for Democratic Change Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat came into effect. That should people be prepared to as a party changes with a new President and signaling new way of steering ahead.

Even if the current shadow cabinet and committee members by the FDC have done a good job, the need for fresh blood isn’t a bold move, but an aspiring move, to show that people aren’t entitled to titles and roles, even within the FDC. If it was so, than the old-guard of the FDC would naturally have positions. These people was appointed by the previous leadership under Gen. Mugisha Muntu, they are still party members and have rights as that. Still, this shows the maturity of the party.

Even as the likes of Odonga Otto says he will leave the party, but that is something he has promised to do dozens of time and always returns. Unless, he has other plans and not sure where to go for his support. Because, Hon. Odonga has usually, nearly once every year promised to leave the party, but never had the guts to do so. Who knows what Hon. Katuntu will do now, as he calls it a purge, and is disregarding the party, he goes total warfare over losing the committee seat in COSASE.

What is special and shows real maturity is how silent former Leader of the Opposition Hon. Winnie Kiiza have been. She has been a leading example, even as she has to step dow. I was skeptical to her in the beginning, because of the disbandment of defiance campaign and giving into the dictatorship as a minority party in the Parliament in 2016. Still, she has played her part and been a vocal voice with reason in the chambers. Winnie Kiiza have shown leadership skills and proven herself. The two years she has had as LoP has shown her ability and capacity as opposition politician. Therefore, her silence now shows maturity and also what sort of person she is.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) apologists that has attacked this changes, maybe, just maybe, look into your own party and how you have to follow every whim of the State House. If anyone inside the party has any ambition, they are taken out and losing their position. Look at Amama Mbabazi, Gilbert Bukenya and so on. Not like NRM would have changed the top head like the FDC has done, the FDC is on their third Party President. The NRM have the same head and his controlling it through the NRM Caucus to follow his guidelines like they are all blind and have no visions themselves. Therefore, their defense of themselves should come first and secondly, their attacks on fresh bloods of the shadow cabinet. Should be a warning of the lack of movement within the movement. It is a movement that isn’t moving, but the FDC has the guts to change, to spark new ways.

Some might comment and say this is a purge on the loyalists around Muntu and making sure the loyal around POA instead. Not like that could ever happen in the NRM, they are encircled by Museveni and no one else. If they are trying to show some flash and ambition, the President will call them in and demote them. No one cried foul when the NRM ‘rebels’ was demoted in Parliament. Because, they was demoted not for political reasons, but because they didn’t follow the NRM Caucus and voted against the Age Limit.

Still, the same people have an issue with the changes within the shadow cabinet, maybe, just maybe, the apologist should be more sincere. FDC has made a decision, a healthy one and ones seeing the party as bigger than personalities, will accept this. But the ones who feels entitled to leading positions will be disenfranchised, like Hon. Katuntu.

Time will tell, but salute to Winnie Kiiza, she carried this steady and should be proud of her tenure. Even I who was really against her role and playing this out. Sees what she has delivered to role. Now lets see what the new leaders and shadow cabinet will do. Peace.

Presidential Handshake: It’s now revealed that the President is trying to pin someone to “fall on one’s sword”!

The continued exhausting of the Presidential handshake shows the true form of the bribe. Even as the President himself, tries to clean his hands and pin-point more people. He still did sanction it directly from the Uganda Revenue Authority and onto the vast civil servants and loyal cronies, as a bribe and brown envelope of joy. Even if the stories keep coming and more people being implicated, the reality is that this shows that the whole system is rotten.

The maladministration and clearly not caring about state reserves comes to the public court. The Public know knows that the President and his State House, are only trying to find a scapegoat and a perfect victim, to save face and look good, without taking down somebody who knows to much. They know that to many people has gotten ill-earned millions in envelopes because of this Presidential Handshake. That the probe would have questions to the President was most likely, and we could anticipate that someone else would fall on their sword. If they will do it voluntarily and might do it with force from the State House.

Oxford Dictionary states about “Fall on one’s sword”:

Assume responsibility or blame on behalf of other people, especially by resigning from a position.

he heroically fell on his sword, insisting that it was his decision’ (Oxford Dictionary).

So when you read part of the piece in the Daily Monitor today, you see how the President tries to wash his hands of sin and put blame on the Ministers and others. So he will talk to the culprit and make sure that he falls on his sword for him.

Museveni pinning people down for the handshake:

Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu,who is leading the inquiry by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises(Cosase), confirmed at a press briefing on Friday that Mr Museveni wants the Committee to ensure that the missing money is accounted for. “The President said he was not aware [that Shs5b is unaccounted for] and he was happy that we were going to follow it up. He reiterated his commitment to accountability and he said any monies spent from the public coffer should be accounted for. He encouraged us to have this money accounted for by the Justice Ministry Accounting Officer [Solicitor General],”Mr Katuntu said. Mr Katuntu revealed that the Solicitor General will be cross-examined again over the whereabouts of the Shs5b before a report is compiled mapping out his fate. During the ingoing inquiry, Mr Atoke failed to give conclusive accountability for the money. During the course of the two meetings, Mr Museveni also singled out former Energy Minister Syda Bbumba for inserting a clause in the Production Sharing Agreement that allowed Tullow a $157m tax waiver for an out of court settlement involving Tullow. The signing of a PSA to exempt Tullow from $157m was done by Ms Bbumba without the knowledge of the President, Mr Katuntu confirmed. “The President said he was not aware of that exemption. The President agreed with us that the exemption was illegal because the then Minister did not have power to exempt payment of tax. We informed the President that we are following up this matter and we will have a conversation with Syda Bbumba,”Mr Katuntu said” (Arinaitwe, 2017).

Now that Honorable Syda Bbumba is the one to blame now, not the ones applying for it or the ones who gained the ill-willed state coffer monies. Not long ago, it was revealed to come from the wrong account, directly from URA and not State House. Now it is a Minister Bbumba who acted without consistent legal procedure, nor talked with the authorities before the money went on its merry. Certainly the other part of what happen this mid-week reveals certain aspects worth noting!

Asking for favors:

According to our sources, as soon as the president ended his testimony, some MPs took turns to speak privately with him. According to multiple sources familiar with the Entebbe meeting, Katuntu effectively contained the MPs during the committee’s official business session at State House but when that ended, MPs went on rampage. “After the meeting, the president invited us for a group photo and this is when the MPs started [whispering],” said an MP who attended the meeting. This MP singled out Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality), Hood Katuramu (PWDs Western) and Vincent Woboya (Budadiri East) as some of the MPs that approached Museveni with requests for favours. This was after they saw the committee vice chairperson Anita Among whisper to Museveni. Anywar reportedly invited the president to attend her thanksgiving next month in Kitgum. “She has not been attending the committee meetings. In fact, we didn’t go with her on [Wednesday]. I think her coming on the second day was purposely to see Museveni, not [to be part of] the probe,” one MP said” (Kaaya, 2017).

So the system is rigged and he isn’t only looking for someone to take the blame for the Presidential Handshake, he also sees who are loyal to him if they get favors. Similar to the Handshake. They wants and requests favors from the President, because he has done so in the past. And most likely do it again, that is the way he keeps the cronyism alive and the Movement booming. If he stops paying and delivering brown-envelopes to political affiliates he will lose his base and his MP’s. But because of this Presidential Handshake he has to play smart and look like he cares about fighting corruption, even though his State House is thriving on it.

That this would take such long time isn’t surprising as they are trying to find one who can take the blame, without to much cost and lose of face value to the hierarchy and the State House. Nevertheless, the bribe is still a bribe, even if they try to color it differently, there isn’t a gray-area to put it into. The reality is still the same. That certain elements now this week ask for favors from the President proves the handouts and the handshakes are a systemic and institutionalized affairs at the State House.

The issue with the Presidential Handshake is more of a gimmick as the state tries to find the one who will take the charge and eat, so that the President can say: “See there my Ugandan people, I work against corruption”. But the next day, another MP will pop by Entebbe or Nakasero and ask for favor, an envelope or even a handshake. So that they can be bought into submission, which is the given state and the system that President Museveni believes in. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni pins SG Atooke over oil cash’ (01.05.2017) link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-pins-SG-Atooke-over-oil-cash/688334-3909560-g9wigk/index.html

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Oil cash probe MPs beg from Museveni’ (01.05.2017) link:http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52653-oil-cash-probe-mps-beg-from-museveni.html

Oxford Dictionary – ‘fall on one’s sword’ link:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fall_on_one’s_sword

PAR/GEN/2014/11/01 – Letter: To His Excellency the Ambassador of DRC Kampala.

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