By Kagenyi Lukka
I watched in surprise and horror as the Hon. Minister for Finance (Matia Kasaija) agonizingly tried to explain away the re-appointment of Justine Bagyenda to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) board.
Hon. Matia Kasiaja is now in the fast race to win the crown for flip flopping on financial positions/decisions of government or rather of his Ministry. If he is not defending outrageous borrowings, he will either be approving or in no time denying a particular tax.
Just the other day he was making helpless apologies about a certain tax on mobile money! One may wonder what the apology would redeem especially now that the citizenry has already been robbed and incurred losses.
On the re appointment of Justine Bagyenda the former executive director of supervision of commercial Banks at the Central Bank, Hon. Kasaija brazenly informed the nation that he was not aware that she was under any probe.
For the record its is common knowledge that Bagyenda’s financial issues came into lime light and were all over the press in early March 2018, whereas he reappointed her to the board of the financial intelligence authority on May 11th 2018.
Bagyenda’s very fat Bank Accounts in various commercial Banks, palatial properties, and big mobile money transactions of her kin were but a clear manifestation of wealth accumulated by unorthodox methods.
She had earlier been pointed to as the dark hand in the closure of a chain of commercial Banks including crane Bank, which has now become a big thorn in the legal battle with the Central Bank in the Courts of Law.
With the mediations now seeming to hit a dead end, the result might be heavy losses to the Central Bank and at the expense of Ugandans.
Drawing from the above, the Minister’s insistence that he did not know Bagyenda was under any investigations by the financial intelligence authority for money laundering and other financial improprieties only points out to the fact that he has lost track of the Ministry or he is deliberately ignoring the otherwise visible due to concealed motives.
One can as well remember his undesirable filibustering on matters of appointments, reappointments at NSSF.
Either way, Ugandans are now more aware of the financial plight the country is going through brought about by deliberate actions/inactions by those entrusted with authority political or technical.
The continued appointment/ reappointments of such officials may further throw our country into financial abyss. We must all stand up against it. It reminds me of a classical African proverb as to whether a monkey would be entrusted with authority to give unbiased judgement on the happenings in the forest.
The moral of this article is therefore to applaud the actions of the whistle blowers who brought this malaise to light.
The writer is a current affairs analyst and aspiring MP Ikiiki County 2021.