Kasekende wants MP Odonga Otto’s to be punished

Kasekende appearing before committee recently

Bank of Uganda deputy governor Louis Kasekende has written to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, demanding that disciplinary action be taken against Odonga Otto (Aruu County MP) for tabling forged documents before the parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises (COSASE), accusing him of acquiring ill-gotten wealth.

In two separate letters, Kasekende demands that all false/forged documents relating to his bank account and that of his wife Edith “be expunged from the record of COSASE”. “An investigation should be made as to why false/forged documents were presented to COSASE,” Kasekende said.

In another letter, he said the accusation Otto made against him that he has 75 land titles “constitutes part of a host of defamatory statements”.

“I, therefore, pray that you consider the said defamatory statements and provide any redress you may find appropriate under the rules of Parliament that regulate the conduct of MPs,” he added.

On December 13, MPs Otto, Elijah Okupa (Kasilo) and Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju County) tabled before the committee, documents alleging fraud on the part of Kasekende, his wife Edith, former executive director supervision Justine Bagyenda and dfcu Bank managing director Juma Kisaame.

Otto claimed that he had evidence that BOU bosses closed the banks in order to enrich themselves. He then tabled three sets of documents containing 75 land titles. He claimed the titles were either owned by Kasekende or have been transferred from his names to his driver Moses Musiitwa and his family members.

He further tendered in statements relating to Kasekende’s bank accounts or his wife’s account. “A review of the documents received from COSASE reveals that all information relating to the operation of the bank accounts in joint names of Louis and Edith Kasekende or in the name of Edith Kasekende was based on false /forged documents,” Kasekende said, adding that the correct bank statements could be obtained from Standard Chartered Bank by the three-member committee, instituted to probe Otto’s allegations.

He attached a letter from the Standard Chartered Bank clearing his wife when the same allegations circulated on social media. Kasekende said the land titles submitted by Otto “contain a litany of falsehoods”, he explained, dismissing accusation that he owns 75 land titles. He said some titles belong to members of his family, but many were duplicated to create the impression that they were many. Out of the 75 titles, he denied knowledge of 23 titles.

His siblings who own some of the titles include Herman Kasekende, Martin Kasekende, and Harriet Kasekende. Another title is in the name of their father the late Benedict Kasekende. Kasekende said Musiitwa had never been his driver. He said his only dealing with Musiitwa was the sale of 1.4 acres of land upcountry.

“In respect to the land titles I own, I should state that there is an ongoing verification exercise being conducted by the office of the Inspector General of Government in relation to asset declaration by all senior staff of the BOU, of whom I am part,” Kasekende said.

He dismissed accusations that he received sh1.9b from MMAKS Advocates, a company hired by BOU to provide transaction advice on the closure of banks. He further dismissed allegations that he received $71,000 (about sh262m) from Tororo district local government. When Otto and his colleagues made the scathing allegations, Katuntu, however, declined to discuss the documents and instead appointed a three-man select committee composed of MPs Anita Among, Gen. Francis Takirwa and Sheila Mwine to determine the relevance and the authenticity of the documents in relation to the queries.

“We want to be transparent and fair. This is why we don’t want their details divulged before we critically analyze them. We want to verify whether they are true and relevant to the queries we are handling,” Katuntu said.