MPs move to block Bagyenda reappointment to FIA board

By Moses Kyeyune

A section of lawmakers have mounted pressure on the Parliament Appointments Committee to disqualify the reappointment of Ms Justine Bagyenda to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) board.
This comes just a few days after the embattled former supervisor of Commercial Banks at the Bank of Uganda was reappointed to the FIA board.

The move is led by Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe and Ngora County legislator David Abala.

The three legislators told journalists at Parliament yesterday that Ms Bagyenda is still under investigations and her appointment for another term before she is cleared is likely to frustrate the ongoing investigations.
“This is the board that is meant to oversee and control money laundering; it becomes a challenge where a person under investigation on money laundering is made a member,” Mr Abala said.
“For me, I think this person does not qualify to be a member,” he added.

He said the Speaker should “waste no time hearing from Ms Bagyenda, lest the image of Parliament gets tainted.”
Mr Mbwatekamwa questioned how someone supervising commercial banks, accumulated wealth so first to become a billionaire in so short a time.

He claimed there was evidence to prove their allegations.

The lawmakers said vetting Ms Bagyenda for the position would be a clear form of entertaining corruption.
According to Public Service standing orders, any officer of government under interdiction is not fit for appointment for any other position until he or she is cleared.

Ms Bagyenda was recently sacked as director supervision for commercial banks at BoU but in his May 7 letter, to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Finance minister Matia Kasaija re-appointed Ms Bagyenda to the FIA board, attracting debate.

It is not clear when the appointments committee chaired by the Speaker will convene to vet new appointees, but Mr Chris Obore, the director of communication and public affairs of Parliament, told Daily Monitor that “the Speaker will certainly handle the issue.”

“The Speaker has handled such matters before and she will use the law to guide the committee,” he said.
Mr Obore said he was yet to see a formal petition and that in any case, everything lies at the discretion of the Speaker.

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