MPs take Bagyenda passports, refuse to free her aides

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Bagyenda at Parliament

Former Bank of Uganda Director for Commercial Banks Supervision Justine Bagyenda on Monday showed up at Parliament for questioning over her alleged involvement in the theft of documents from the Bank.

She had skipped three summons issued by The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises [COSASE].

Bagyenda is accused of using her aides to smuggle vital documents out of the Bank’s premises.

Last week, Bagyenda’s bodyguard, Police Constable Adikot Juliet, and driver, Job Turyahabwe, confirmed the reports to the same effect.

They were arrested and handed over to police CID department as criminal accomplices.

COSASE Chairperson Abdu Katuntu told Bagyenda on Monday that her travelling without asking the committee first disorganised their programme.

“Your travelling caused us a bit of inconvenience but since you are now here, you have to make sure that you sit throughout the process and answer all the questions that we have for you,” Katuntu said.

Bagyenda then apologised for missing the previous three sittings of the Committee.

She asked the committee to set free her driver and bodyguard who were arrested for giving false evidence to the committee.

“I thank you all for unanimously agreeing to extend the summons against me on two occasions. I want to assure you that I am willing to corporate and assist the committee in any way I can,” she told the committee.

She added: “I, however, want to make a request that the bodyguard and driver are set free so that justice can prevail.”

Bagyenda checks her bag

Katuntu said that they [her aides] lied after taking oath and so the law will take its course.

Bunyole West MP James Waluswaka then requested that this committee keeps Bagyenda until the probe has been finished.

“I cannot trust the submission of a passport because she can have more than one passport,” Waluswaka noted.

Katuntu instead asked Bagyenda to deposit her two passports (the East African passport and the International one) with Parliament until the probe is over.

Bagyenda was then put to oath following a number of complaints from committee members showing a certain level of mistrust in what could be her submissions to the committee.

Apparently, Bank of Uganda officials told COSASE that they cannot trace the offices or address of Kirkland Associates, a law firm that they hired for consultancy services during the process of selling seven defunct banks.

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