Police is reportedly investigating Shs400bn that Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials transferred and stored in the Masaka Currency Centre in a room without CCTV cameras.
According to the state-run New Vision, the money was transferred to Masaka on June 14, 2019, the time when investigators started probing BoU and other officials over the anomaly in the consignment of the 20 pallets packed with Uganda Shillings notes.
The said pallets were delivered at Entebbe International Airport by BoU chartered plane on April 26 and later the extra 5 pallets on board disappeared.
This week, BoU Executive Director Operations Charles Malinga Akol was charged and released from the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo on a cash bail of Shs40m.
His juniors Francis Kakeeto, a branch manager at Mbale and Fred Wanyama from the same branch were charged with abuse of office and corruption.
They were first remanded to Luzira prison and later released on Shs30m and Shs25m cash bail, respectively.
Both Governor Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and his deputy governor, Dr. Louis Kasekende, deny the printing of excess money.
While speaking Thursday in Masaka Town hall, Kasekende said the matter has progressed to court and any detailed discussion on the specific merits of the issue might be construed to be contempt of court processes.
“Let me also reiterate Governor Mutebile’s message, that there was no extra currency printed outside the amounts that he approved through the requisite processes.”
It is alleged about Shs190bn was illegally printed and is hidden somewhere in the country.
Meanwhile, a confidential Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee has accused Mutebile of violating the Bank of Uganda Act when he took the decision without involving all members of the board and senior management to employ relatives.
The committee appointed by Museveni included to do the investigation; MP Abdu Katuntu (MP) – Chairperson, Anita Among – Member, MP Michael Tusiime – Member, MP Elijah Okupa – Member, Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza (IGG) – Member, David Makumbi (IG Staff) – Member, Justus Kareebi (IG Staff) – Member, Sarah Birungi (IG Staff) – Committee Secretary, Judy Obitre-Gama (BOU Board) – Member and Keith Muhakanizi (BOU Board) – Member.
When the Committee interfaced with both current and former members of the Board of Directors and from the interactions the Committee noted a number of proposals and observations relevant to the situation prevailing at the Central Bank, said the report.
“It was noted that none of the current board members were aware of the Governor’s decision prior to the communication made on 7th February, 2018.”
There was also concern that the Governor had irregularly transferred the Chief Internal Auditor which was a preserve of the Audit and Governance Committee of the Board, reads the report.
Mutebile allegedly appointed and transferred various staff to positions that did not officially exist in the bank’s structure.
They cited a case the position of the former Executive Director Supervision Justine Bagyenda who was already due to retire before she was replaced by Dr. Twinemanzi Tumubweine who didn’t meet the experience required of that job.
Another Board member expressed the view that the Governor’s reliance on a board resolution made in 2012 with regard to delegation of the functions of the Board to the Governor was misguided.
“This was because the resolution in question was framed in the context of the expiry of a particular board’s term and not in perpetuity.”
The board members interviewed apart from Mutebile were; Dr. Louis Kasekende-Deputy Governor/Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi- Member , Ms. Judy Obitre-Gama- Member, Dr. William Kalema-Member, Mr. James Kahooza- Member, Ms. Josephine Okwi Ossiya-Member and Mrs. Susan W. Kanyemibwa, Bank Secretary/Board Secretary.
The report says the former board members did not approve of Tumubweine replacing Bagyenda, arguing that Bank supervision requires persons who are highly experienced preferably with experience in commercial banking.
Mutebile handpicked Tumubweine from the Uganda Communication Commission where he was working as he served as the Director of Industry Affairs and Content (Economic Affairs).
On concerns about the existence of cliques, one staff went further to characterize the cliques as potentially religious-based.
“There is a risk of divisions according to religion in that Bank. Catholics and Anglicans have their own groups. They have meetings and each has its own power.”
Yet all the 60 staff interviewed indicated that the changes made by the Governor were a complete surprise.
“Staff indicated a loss of confidence on account of unclear implementation or disregard of human resource policies especially with regard to succession.”