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Justine Bagyenda

Benedict Ssekabira hands a document to COSASE’s Anita Among as other officials look on .

However, Katuntu read out what Bagyenda handed over: “You handed over Greenland bank legal audit report. You handed over handover assignment final draft. You handed over special audit final report…

Now, we are talking about two files because what Mrs.Bagyenda is talking about, could only be related to those two files.  That is the sale of movable assets and transaction audit interim progressive report.”

It is at this point that Katuntu directed that Bagyenda and the BoU team provide all the other documents at the next sitting. At the said sitting Bagyenda was no show. The committee only learnt through a letter that she had travelled outside Uganda.

Infuriated by this, Katuntu adjourned the meeting with Bagyenda and warned that if she failed to appear, a warrant of arrest would be issued against her.

Interest in Bagyenda appears to be high because on Feb.10, she was captured on BoU CCTV cameras while appearing to carry out of the bank various documents in green polythene bags.

The documents were many and too heavy for her to carry alone. She had her driver and bodyguard help her carry some of them. This was days after her former boss Emmanuel TumusiimeMutebile had relieved her of her duties in a major reshuffle on Feb.08 in which he moved around about 50 high level staff of the central bank.

The Independent understands that at the time, a decision was made at BoU to have her house searched.

Even a search warrant had been issued, a source knowledgeable about the issue told The Independent on conditions of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. However, this information leaked before the search was conducted and Bagyenda travelled outside Uganda for four days.

When the security personnel at BoU later asked Bagyenda to explain the situation, she said that over the years, she had kept some of her personal documents and that these are the ones she was taking home.

Bagyenda’s departure from the bank was not smooth. When Mutebile reshuffle staff on Feb.08 and left her without an office, protested.

She told the Governor that she could not be fired because she was permanent and pensionable and her rights needed to be respected.

“Process your handover,” Mutebile insisted, “you are due to retire.”

So Bagyenda did not leave the bank and stayed until months later when she hit retirement age and left.

These incidents happened between mid-February and Mid-March but havebecome the centre of debate because at the time, the auditor general’s office was carrying out the investigation on the seven closed banks.

Most importantly, COSASE, which directed the AG to carry out this audit, has started its probe and is grappling with the issue of missing documents on the processes surrounding the closure of the banks.

Indeed, when on March.23, AG John Muwanga wrote to Governor Emmanuel TumusiimeMutebile raising concerns that among others, he had not been furnished with certain critical documents;Bagyenda’s moving documents out of the bank came up.

“A senior official was seen carrying loads of documents out of the bank,” a source told The Independent, “now the AG is asking for documents and they are no where to be seen.”

Muwanga requested BoU to furnish them with documents.

 “I shall be pleased to discuss the matters mentioned in this report with you at Audit House on 4th April 2018,” Muwanga wrote, “Meanwhile, I await your responses which should reach this office by 30th March 2018.”

But months later, when the final audit report came out, it became clear that the auditor general had not received the information they needed.

Probe needs experts

Indeed, as the COSASE investigation rages, the question of missing documents has taken centre stage and Bagyenda finds herself on the spot over the same issue.

So far the committee has explored only a tiny fraction of the issues raised in the AG’s report. Some of these issues include; missing records on the closure of Teefe Bank; missing records on the transfer of assets on GTB, NBC and CBL; lack of documents on sale of assets for Greenland Bank, ICB and Cooperative Bank; poor sale of assets; and poor recovery of non-performing loans.

On Teefe, BoU did not avail the AG with the inventory report, loan schedules, customer deposit shedules and statements of affairs.

“Due to this limitation, I could not assess the status of the assets and liabilities of Teefe Trust bank from closure to-date,” Muwanga’s report observes.

Katuntu wrote to Governor Mutebile demanding the said documents. BoU responded that Teefe Trust bank was closed in February 1993 under the provisions of the Banking Act of 1969, which did not contain substantive provisions on reports that the liquidator was required to compile.

In a follow up meeting on Nov.12, the legislators again demanded for the documents. In this meeting legislators directed TwinemanziTumubweine, the current executive director supervision to pass on the question to Ssekabira, who was a staff at BoU when Teefe was closed.

One comment

  1. For God and my country

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