Mutebile Should Be Fired – MPs
A leaked parliamentary committee report on commissions and statutory bodies dated May2015 has recommended resignation or firing of governor Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.
The governor is facing accusations of contempt of parliament in relation to his decision to bail out city tycoon Basajjabalaba with shs21bn cash.
The report authored by the parliamentary committee on commissions and statutory bodies chaired by Ibrahim Semujju Nganda also makes an insight into the affairs of other bodies include UCDA, URA, Bank of Uganda, UBC, NMS, NDA, New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation among others.
The report pins several government bosses who are accused of causing financial loss to these entities, fraud among other cases.
The report is yet to be delivered to parliament but through our sources, we chanced on it and below we bring facts about scandalous bosses named in it and what should be done to them.
GOVERNOR TUMUSIIME MUTEBILE
The ageing central bank boss’ troubles stem from 2003 when the bank he heads guaranteed loans worth shs21bn to city tycoon Hassan Basajjabalaba’s Hides and Skins Ltd.
In 2010, BoU sued for recovery of this dime and a consent judgment was reached on January 29 2010 requiring Basajja to pay the full amount of the principal within 6months.
However, this money hasn’t been paid but Mutebile explained that when Basajja failed to pay the loan, a consent judgment between the bank and government was entered into where the bank was reimbursed with its money since it was government which asked him to give Basajja shs142bn.
Mutebile insists that the bank never made any financial loss since government ‘reimbursed’ the money.
The report however, suggests that when the committee asked Mutebile for evidence of repayment of this money, he promised to bring it but he simply disappeared to date.
The committee suspects that the entire transaction could have been a syndicate aimed at having government money given to a private company which could otherwise have borrowed from commercial banks.
The committee wondered why Mutebile acted on instructions from state house and finance ministry and chose to bypass parliament.
This therefore makes the committee believe that Mutebile is no longer respecting parliament and he is also incapable of managing the affairs of the bank since he can’t resist pressure from government.
“The committee recommends that Mutebile takes personal responsibility for acting outside the law in giving financial guarantees to a private person without parliamentary approval. He should resign or be relieved of his duties” the committee recommends.
In 2011, an attempt by members to censure Mutebile over shs142bn Basajjabalaba compensation scandal failed after president Museveni intervened.
Eventually, two ministers Kiddu Makubuya and Syda Bbumba were forced to resign.
KABAKUMBA MASIKO/KIRUNDA KIVEJINJA
The ugly ghost of UBC land is not about to rest when it comes to these two officials.
The report indicates that when UBC was formed, it inherited a lot of property including huge chunks of land located in various parts of the country which formerly belonged to UTV and Radio Uganda.
The land included 23.2acres on Farady road in Bugoloobi, 49 acres on Kibira road, 7.3acres in Naguru among others.
The Bugoloobi land was controversially bought by Basajjabalaba according to the report.
The fraud was started when UBC entered into a joint venture deal with a Kenyan firm Pinnacle Projects Ltd to construct and sell 100 residential houses.
Under the deal, UBC would be given USD7.56m which is the value for land and USD5.5m from the sale of the houses making a total of USD13m.
The deal was sealed in 2008 but in 2011, no house had been set up.
Instead of returning the land to UBC, Pinnacle sold it to Basajja’s HABA.
HABA was supposed to pay UBC the amount they had agreed with Pinnacle.
HABBA eventually sold the land to Deo and Sons. This matter is still in court.
On November 18 2008, then information minister Kirunda Kivejinja authorized UBC board to develop 49acres at Kibira road.
In February 2009 on 16th, he wrote another letter to UBC board chairman allowing UBC to grant 8 acres of this land to a Chinese company Sino Eat Africa Trade in conjunction with Export Promotions Board.
In total, KK allowed sale of 12 acres of UBC land.
When she assumed this office, Kabakumba immediately allowed sale of more 24 acres of UBC land at Kibira road in her letter dated December 7 2009.
The princess from Bunyoro not only allowed this sale, but also went ahead to front some buyers to the board.
For example in her letter dated January 21 2010, she fronted a company called Metro-Nominee Associates [U]Ltd to the board to be leased two acres.
The committee not only indicts the two fired ministers on sale of UBC land, but also concludes that the duo authorized or gave away UBC and their actions are responsible to the continuous mismanagement of UBC.
Ironically, the committee notes that Kabakumba who resigned from her cabinet job because of the UBC mast scandal, when she was summoned to appear before it, she refused to show up.
“The committee recommends that since the persons [UBC Managers] behind this fraudulent transactions are already in court, for information ministers Kabakumba Masiko and Kirunda Kivejinja should be held responsible for their role in these land transactions” the report stated.
The fired UBC MD is being indicted on having accumulated mega arrears to UBC after failure to remit statutory obligations.
For example, UBC incurred a loss worth shs1.5bn in reckless expenditure; being penalties to URA for failure to remit accumulated tax arrears worth shs900m.
According to the report, this expenditure could have been avoided. Other missing funds are in respect to NSSF.
“Kihika should be held responsible for none remittance of statutory deductions that have resulted into penalties. Furthermore, the auditor general is requested to verify whether these deductions were ever made and what the money was used for” the report states.