Among and Katuntu during one of the committee sittings recently

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Betty Aol Ocan and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga have agreed to have Abdu Katuntu’s term of office as chairperson of Parliament’s committee on statutory authorities and state enterprises (COSASE) extended to February.

Katuntu’s tenure and that of his deputy, Anita Among, the Bukedea District Woman MP, expired on Sunday. Prior to the expiry of Katuntu’s tenure, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), the leading Opposition party in Parliament, nominated Mubarak Munyagwa (Kawempe South) as the new COSASE chairperson and Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) as his deputy.

Before the expiry of Katuntu and Amongi’s term of office, Kadaga directed that their tenure be extended to allow them wrap up investigations into Bank of Uganda, but was opposed by Ocan. However, following a closed-door meeting with Kadaga yesterday, the Opposition, represented by Ocan, and deputy chief whip Wilfred Niwagaba, agreed that Katuntu’s term be extended “We tried to explore a lot of options.

The best option will be announced by the Speaker on the floor of Parliament. That option will take care of our interests as Opposition and the institution that is Parliament,” Ocan told journalists yesterday at Parliament after the meeting. Imploring the current leadership to wind up their work to pave the way for the new leadership, Ocan told journalists that she would engage the new nominated COSASE leaders to allow the committee complete its work.

“COSASE is an Opposition committee, so we do not want to water it down,” Ocan said.

However, she did not comment on the outburst of Kasibante, who vowed not to return to the committee on which he has been serving as a member until the new leadership and membership has been changed. The committee, which last transacted business on Friday last week, is today expected to resume its interaction with Bank of Uganda officials as it concludes its investigations.

Kadaga is expected to officially brief Parliament today on the controversy surrounding the extension of Katuntu’s tenure, especially what was agreed on in the meeting with the opposition leadership. Last week, Katuntu told the committee that he had not asked Kadaga to extend his term.

“I want to clarify that I and my vice-chairperson are not dying to be in these positions. We can only stay according to the rules. When they tell us to leave, we shall leave,” Katuntu said.