Speaker directs audit into performance of COSASE, pins Chair Joel Ssenyonyi for seeking ‘cheap popularity’

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Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi presenting a report to parliament on Wednesday; Courtesy Parliament Press.

The speaker of Parliament Anitah Among has bashed the leadership of the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), for the bad performance as far as examining the reports and audited accounts of public entities is concerned.

In her communication, Among said she is disappointed by the performance of the committee chaired by Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi who she accused of seeking cheap popularity instead of delivering results.

Quoting Article 163(5) of the Constitution Among said Parliament is given six months after the submission of the Auditor General’s report to debate and consider the report and take appropriate action, which period has elapsed and COSASE has only handled 4 entities out of the 107 required.

She said the failure by COSASE is an indictment on the house and the committee and it is a shame that dismal work has been done yet funds have been spent.

“I don’t want to say shame on us as the house, But shame on you COSASE. It is you who have failed, we have invested a lot of money on the committee…but we have not got results” Among said…even if we give you an additional one year, you may not be able to finish”

Among, who accuses Ssenyonyi for leaking a committee report on Uganda Airlines also warned committee chairpersons and clerks against leaking committee reports as this tantamount to breach pf parliamentary rules; “Honorable members, while we do all this work, lets not just play to the gallery but do work.”

Hon Alex Ruhunda who sits on COSASE made a claim implying that corruption has been rife in committees and that he will unveil evidence when time comes. He however retracted this claim when he was asked to table the evidence.

In response, the Leader of Opposition (LOP) Mathias Mpuuga said he takes in good faith the Speaker’s observation on the performance of accountability committees and pledged to hold an in-house meeting to iron out these administrative challenges.

“These accountability committees are headed by the opposition, but 99 percent of the membership is from the ruling party. When work is curtailed, it is an indictment to all. I know leadership is key, but all of us must work to make sure these committees perform and nobody should curtail their work because they are chaired by the opposition.” Mpuuga said.

The speaker said the house is going to adopt all the Audit reports before COSASE in their current form and subsequently ordered an audit on the performance of COSASE.

COSASE Chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi who was in the house appreciated the observations of the speaker regarding the performance of the accountability committee saying the committee should be able to do a lot more than they are doing challenges notwithstanding.

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