By Kagenyi Lukka
By every description, Bank of Uganda is looking shabby, more than ever before.
This is because the ongoing probe by Parliament’s Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) into the irregularities that characterized the closure and sale of defunct banks has asked more questions with less or no answers from BOU staff.
Perhaps the most startling about this probe is the lack of seriousness that the BOU team is treating the probe with. They have on several occasions appeared ill-prepared with no supporting documents.
And the distressed woman at the Centre of this mess, Justine Bagyenda who is the former Executive Director for Commercial banks Supervision has failed to answer basic questions relating to the process of identifying the buyer of Global Trust bank with an accusation of theft of key documents about defunct banks hanging overhead.
The Ongoing probe has caught the attention of most people. Thanks to the extensive media coverage by both electronic and print media.
The dailies of today including daily monitor report that cabinet discussed the BOU probe on Monday.
In the presence of the President, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the finance minister, Hon Matia Kasaija with a line of some ministers wanted an uncharacteristic
Step to be taken by the Executive to stop the legislative arm of government from
Undertaking its constitutional mandate of
Investigating government agencies.
Reports further state that his proposal was supported by Ruth Nankabirwa, the government Chief Whip.
However, it seems that Kasaija made this move unaware that the president had earlier on advised BOU officials against the closing of crane bank which was a spark note for BOU’s troubles.
As the debate on the COSASE probe gained momentum, the President flatly rejected Kasaija’s attempts to block the Abdu Katuntu led the probe.
Sources quoted Mr Museveni saying,” “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”
By giving green light to the Katuntu, it highlighted the President’s commitment to fighting corruption in government bodies including Bank of Uganda.
It should be recalled that the auditor general’s special audit report into defunct commercial revealed that Bank of Uganda didn’t have policies and guidelines for closure and sale of defunct banks including crane bank limited. Further still, Mr. John Muwanga, the AG noted that BOU didn’t carry out the valuation of assets of crane bank, and couldn’t account for over Ugx 478 billion injected in CBL during receivership.
BOU’s rejection of the President’s advice was a blunder because it has exposed the highly educated technocrats at BOU as incompetent, corrupt and negligent. It has further set some of them in motion to board the Luzira bound bus while also plummeting their public trust.