HomePARLIAMENTFinancial Blacklist Threatens Government, Parliament Rush to Process Five Money Laundering Bills.

Financial Blacklist Threatens Government, Parliament Rush to Process Five Money Laundering Bills.

By Jimmy Muhumuza. 

Parliament.

The government of Uganda is panicking as the deadline of being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) draws closer. The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has issued a one-week ultimatum to four Committees in Parliament to scrutinize the seven bills tabled by Government yesterday (Tuesday) to avert the impending blacklist for failure to enact laws to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing, a move, if implemented, will leave Ugandans unable to send and receive money outside Uganda.

Tayebwa informed Parliament that Uganda is currently on the grey list but even this position is already a big threat as Uganda is viewed as a nation where financing isn’t safe and the meeting he held with the top leadership at Parliament, agreed to process these bills within a week in order for Uganda to beat the 3rd September 2022 deadline.

Paul Omara (Otuke County) backed the Deputy Speaker and urged lawmakers to burn their candles to avert this catastrophe 

The ultimatum followed the tabling of seven bills by Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, and these included; The Trustees Incorporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Partnerships (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Companies (Amendment) Bill and The Insolvency (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The deputy speaker Tayebwa tasked MPs on responsible committees to call off weekends to fast-track the five bills and deliver them before Monday of next week.

In January 2022, the Executive Director of the Finance Intelligence Authority, Sydney Asubo warned Parliament that Uganda risks being blacklisted by the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) if the government does not tackle money laundering by May 2022.

FATF maintains a watch list of countries that have significant shortfalls in tackling money laundering categorized under the grey list and the black list Uganda made it to that list in May 2020 and although Government promised to address the specific issues within a given time frame, there were a number of issues are still outstanding thus prompting the FATF to warn Uganda that if these issues are not addressed, Uganda would be blacklisted.

The looming blacklist has left MPs concerned with enormous effects on Uganda’s economy

As of March 2020, Iran and North Korea were the only countries on the blacklist, while the grey list has 24 nations, six of these found in Africa alongside Uganda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco, SouthSudan and Zimbabwe. 

However, this has left MPs in shock, wondering why the government is stampeding parliament with several bills with a lot of urgencies that do not provide them time to do proper scrutiny.

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