By our reporter
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Igara East Constituency, Michael Mawanda, says he is preparing to move a motion in parliament to enact a private member’s bill that will limit the powers of Bank of Uganda (BoU) governor.
According to Mawanda, the “Bank of Uganda Amendment Bill 2019” is aimed at addressing the current scandals at the central bank, adding that it would further protect the falling economy.
Mawanda’s impending bill is in line with recommendations made in February 2019 by the parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises [COSASE] after probing BoU on the controversial closure of seven commercial banks, including Crane Bank Limited in 2016 and Global Trust Bank Uganda in 2014.
During the COSASE probe, led by MP Abdu Katuntu as Chairperson, it was established that Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile the BoU Governor reports to himself since he chairs the BoU Board and this is worsened by the fact that his deputy Dr. Louis Kasekende is the Vice Chairman of the board.
Mawanda’s proposal comes after the latest currency consignment saga in which a chartered plane carrying 20 BoU pallets from France had also private items on board. It is said extra 2 pallets were onboard without the knowledge of big shots in BoU. It is argued the extra 2 pallets contained money not approved by Tumusiime-Mutebile and cannot be traced as police goes on investigations about the same.
Mawanda believes his bill will restore order, credibility and public trust that has since been lost thanks to the Governor Prof Emmanuel Mutebile and his deputy Louis Kasekende-led administration. It was made worse when a confidential Presidential Tripartite Committee report revealed that Tumusiime-Mutebile in March 2018 hired top officials in disregard of the BoU Act.
Police is investigating circumstance under which BoU officials also transferred BoU officials transferred Shs400 billion from the headquarters to the newly constructed Masaka currency centre. BoU says the transfer of the cash is a normal process even though some analysts say it was carried out to hide something given the ongoing investigations.
Mawanda bill if adopted by the House will reduce the powers of the governor Bank of Uganda by separating his roles as a governor from that of chairperson of the board of the bank like is the current situation.
The bill also wants parliament to be the responsible body in appropriating resources or approving BoU financial year budget.
The bill will also outline procedures for closing insolvent banks and ensure people like Mutebile do not practice nepotism at the institution as was the case reported in the Presidential Tripartite Committee report.
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