Opinion: DTB & Barclays banks’ apologies not necessary

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On 14th March 2018, distinguished and long serving Kasilo county legislator, Hon Elijah Okupa raised before parliament the issue of the DTB worker that was fired for allegedly leaking the suspicious bank account statements of axed former BOU’s director of commercial banks’ supervision, Justine Bagyenda.

“Hon Speaker we have a whistle-blower’s act which protects people who reveal information which may help us curb corruption in public institutions. This person should be protected,” said Okupa.

Later, DTB would issue unreserved apologies for leaking Bagyenda’s accounts.

As if this isn’t enough, yesterday, Barclays Bank bought space in one of the dailies and advertised their remorse with the leakage.

The perplexing accounts indicate that Bagyenda owns account number 5106903903 in Diamond Trust Bank described as ‘low start savings account’ which as of December 01, 2017, had a total of Shs11.4 billion.

The same account is expecting another Shs429 million on March, 07 2018 when the Shs179 million she fixed in September 2017 at 10 percent rate matures.

Information further reveals that on October 21, 2017, her shillings account at Barclays had a balance of Shs98 million, while her dollars account number 5106903904 in Diamond Trust Bank, named Prime

Dollar Saving, as of November 20, 2017 had US $1,074,450 which, at a conservative Shs. 3500 exchange rate translates to Shs 3.76 billion.

The above insulting accounts raise more unanswered questions about the source of such money (whether it was attained and accumulated through rightful ways) and the role of the banks in handling such suspicious transactions.

For instance, is the role of DTB and Barclays bank only to receive and keep deposits?

Don’t the banks have the moral responsibility of monitoring the flow of funds to and from client’s accounts?

In support of Honourable Nandala’s move.

Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the outspoken Former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee whose impeccable knowledge of finance and banking can’t be overemphasized, is planning to move a motion to investigate Justine Bagyenda.

For having unimaginable amounts of money on her bank accounts, the Budadiri West Legislator suspects that there is a possibility of money laundering by Justine Bagyenda.

Nandala wants Justine to board the Luzira bus!

While I support Hon Nandala Mafabi’s move, I find DTB and Barclay’s bank’s apologies unnecessary because the public is interested in accountability.

I thus propose that the scope investigation covers among other areas;

  1. a) Bagyenda’s role in the desecration of Crane bank.
  2. b) Source of her money and swanky properties.
  3. c) The tax evasion reports as revealed by the URA compliance report. The report indicates that she evaded over 7 billion Uganda Shillings.
  4. d) The role of Barclays bank, Diamond Trust Bank and other banks in this looting episode; were they accomplices?

Parliament has investigated scandals before and delivered reports with strong recommendations.

Some reports have resulted into resignation of ministers and prosecution of government officials that are implicated in dubious deals.

I call upon members of parliament to support this effort in a bid to avert misuse of public offices.

Kagenyi Lukka is a current affairs analyst and an aspiring MP, Ikiiki Constituency.

 

 

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