KAMPALA, Uganda: For not doing what they are supposed to do, two Bank of Uganda security officials will spend 48 hours in the coolers in Luzira prisons.
Despite appearing in court with sureties, Charles Mollo and Beatrice Kyambadde were charged with negligence of duty by the City Hall Magistrate and remanded until December 6, 2018.
Mollo and Kyambadde face negligence of duty for failing to detect the removal of vital documents relating to the sale (liquidation) of seven commercial banks. The documents were suspected to have been ferried out of the Central Bank by the fired former Director Supervision in the BoU, Justine Bagyenda. Bagyenda has also had her two passports confiscated by COSASE for snubbing summons to appear before the committee when she flew to Netherlands.
The two security officers were arrested alongside Bagyenda’s bodyguard Juliet Adikot and her driver Job Turyahabwe on orders of Abdu Katuntu, the chairman of parliamentary committee probing BoU over the closure of commercial banks.
The committee is probing the irregular sale of Gold Trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Crane Bank, Cooperatives Bank, Teffe, Greenland Bank and the National Bank of Commerce.
Adikot, a police officer and Job Turyahabwe are due to appear in court too to answer charges of lying under oath.
Adikot and Turyahabwe when appearing before COSASE last week gave contradicting testimonies to the committee in relation to Ms. Bagyenda’s movements on the day three bags were returned. The two were captured by CCTV cameras felling out bags into Bagyenda’s car.
Museveni warned BoU officials
Meanwhile President Yoweri Museveni has said he warmed the Central Bank officials against selling Crane Bank. While addressing Cabinet at State House on Monday, Museveni said his advice to BoU not to sell Crane bank was not listened too.
“Let them (BoU officials) be probed without protection because I told them not to close Crane Bank but they did not listen to me,” a senior Cabinet minister that attended the meeting said.
President Museveni rejected pleas by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Government Chip Whip Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa to have him halt the ongoing parliamentary probe into the liquidation of the seven banks.
Museveni stood his ground and said: “I advised those people (BoU) against closing Crane Bank, I even went on to suggest that we carry out a silent investigation and I went ahead to contact Abdu Katuntu who agreed with my suggestion but they refused and so let parliament do its work and let them face music.”
Though BoU claimed that the institution is sensitive and that its continued exposure will impact on the economy, President Museveni flatly refused to reign on Cosase so that they (BoU)are not exposed further,
When the Bank of Uganda (BoU) sold Crane Bank to Dfcu Bank in January 2017, officials did not expect that they would be probed by parliament and so far, the Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile and his subordinates have been exposed by the Auditor General John Muwanga in his special audit report of BoU on seven defunct banks.
Mr. Muwanga in his report faulted BoU for selling off some of Crane Bank’s assets and liabilities when they had chance to revive it, most especially that BoU claims it spent Shs478.8 billion on the bank during its takeover. Muwanga in his report says he doesn’t understand why BoU spent all that money on CBL and later sold it to DFCU Bank at Shs200 billion.
Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) is using Muwanga’s report to probe BoU top officials.
- Patrick is a seasoned and independent Investigative Journalist, A Market Researcher, Media Consultant
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