The 1995 Constitution guarantees that no Ugandan shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
As long as a citizen abides by the law, he or she should not be in trouble.
But what if you’re apprehended by authorities for some reason – or in a Parliamentary committee, like the recent arrest of the bodyguard and driver of the former Bank of Uganda Executive Director in charge of supervision Ms Justine Bagyenda – you’re handed over to police for criminal investigation for supposedly telling lies to Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises?
Remember, the Constitution remains in effect – even during those times. Along with relevant laws and issuances, the Constitution makes sure citizen’s rights continue to be respected.
Following the book, COSASE led by its chairman, Hon. Abdu Katuntu validly, through his powers instructed the Parliamentary C.I.D to interrogate the Central Bank staff; Beatrice Kyambadde and Charles Moro for neglect of duty, Ms Bagyenda’s Job Turyahabwe and her aide Adikurit Juliet for perjury who were arrested in connection with smuggling documents out of Bank of Uganda.
The four were interrogated for hours on end and thereafter taken into detention on Thursday 29th November, 2018 at 4.30pm in a session attended by other BoU officials Dr J. Tibamwenda and David Kamurasi.
They have been denied their constitutional rights and liberties enshrined in Article 23(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
These illicit and toxic actions are being perpetrated by the Police C.I.D under the auspices of the Chairman, COSASE who doubles as an Advocate well conversant of the basic laws of the land.
The BoU workers have been held at the Central Police Station since Thursday. Important to note is that the time does not stop running over the weekend.
The breach of the Law is being done by our guardians and makers of the law and leaves a lot to desire especially after the Arua debacle.
Travel ban for Bagyenda
At the beginning of the proceedings today, Ms Bagyenda apologised for missing committee meetings and begged the committee to release her bodyguard and driver, a report filed by Daily Monitor said.
The committee chairperson, instead ordered that her two passports including the one for EAC be deposited in Parliament as MPs continue to grill Bank of Uganda officials over the closed banks.
“I have two passports, one is international and the other is for East Africa which I only use in East African travels,” Ms Bagyenda had said.
Mr Katuntu further ordered that from now onwards, Ms Bagyenda who resurfaced before the committee after several days out of the country, should not go anywhere and must appear with BoU team until investigations are done to which she obliged.
Mr Katuntu made the rulings on the proposals of Kasiro County Member of Parliament, Elijah Okupa.
Mr Katuntu rejected her request and reminded her that it’s a criminal offence to lie while on oath.
“It’s a matter of police and DPP,” Mr Katuntu said.
Bagyenda was forcefully retired in February this year at the time when her name was still commanding headlines especially about her role in the closure of Crane bank. Bagyenda who was supposed to appear before Cosase on November 23, but did not show up, saying she had travelled abroad.
She reportedly travelled to Amsterdam, Mauritius and Nairobi until she was served with summons. In her letter to BoU governor and Cosase committee, Bagyenda had indicated that she would not able to appear before the probe because she was on a business trip until December 13.
Upon receipt of the letter indicating her trip, the MPs were furious, prompting Cosase chairperson, Katuntu to issue fresh summons requiring her to appear on November 27 without fail or face arrest.