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Bagyenda's aide stole bank documents - BOU

Justine Bagyenda

Justine Bagyenda

Bank of Uganda director of security Milton Opio has told a committee of parliament that the former executive director in charge of supervision Justine Bagyenda facilitated the theft of documents from the central bank.

Opio says that their CCTV camera's captured Bagyenda's assistant's smuggling bags of documents from the central bank early this year. Opio made the revelation under the directive of BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, who had been tasked to explain whether the central bank had any case of stolen documents.

Over the past one week, the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) has demanded quarterly progressive reports on the liquidation of assets of all banks closed between 1993 and 2017.

The committee chaired by Bugweri County MP Abdul Katuntu is investigating irregularities in the central bank and the mess surrounding the closure of at least seven banks over the years. The banks include to Teefe Trust bank, International Credit bank, Greenland bank, Uganda Cooperative bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust bank and Crane bank.

Today, Opio told legislators on Cosase that; on March 13, 2018, the central bank received a confidential report about a security breach that occurred on February 11, 2018. He stated that a review of the security cameras saw Bagyenda's personal bodyguard and driver, breach security and ferry out three bags to her car on Sunday, February 11 before driving off.

Bagyenda told the committee last week that she handed over all the documents to the new executive director supervision Tumubweine Twinemanzi, who however denied being in possession of any documents. Mutebile also told the committee that he had never seen the documents in question.

In his 2017 forensic audit report, the auditor general queried the absence of asset movement schedules or ledgers indicating the bank assets at closure, the assets sold and their selling price, as well as performing and nonperforming loans.

Opio said that they had planned a search at Bagyenda's residence but the bags were returned the following day at around 6pm but were still not checked at the entrance to ascertain the contents. He said that when Bagyenda was confronted about the incident, she accused the bank of witch hunting her and insisted that the bags contained personal items.

“Those are some of the reasons why we were suspicious and we thought we’d be embarrassed if we went and searched the home and found nothing. The following day she sent us an email and said why did you people do this? It seems the search was leaked to her. By who? We don’t know.” Opio said.

“She said she didn’t see [reason] why we [would] searching her home without asking her. And the things which she took were her personal documents which she has been collecting all the time she has been working. And for us, we just said fine; we have it on record that documents went. She has to prove whether those were personal documents or not because we didn’t see them."

Opio further reported that since the incident, Bagyenda was always required to disclose whichever documents were leaving office.

“After that, whenever she wanted to take documents she would call us. On 30th June or July 1 she called me in the afternoon, I was at home and she said; 'I wanted to take my things home but the security people have refused me to go with them.' Then I said; 'I would advise you not to take anything out of the offices on a Saturday wait on Monday I will send my people to check the documents because we don’t want a repeat of what happened [before].' And we agreed to that and the documents were checked the following week on Monday and they were personal items.” said Opio.

Katuntu asked whether a report had been filed on the incident and requested that the central bank avails it to the committee tomorrow. He also selected a team of four MPs to review the CCTV footage of the incident and file a separate report. The MPs include UPDF representative Francis Takirwa, Rukungiri Woman MP Betty Muzanira, Kashari South MP Nathan Itungo and Kabale Municipality MP Aja Baryayanga.

Bagyenda's guard, driver and the security officers who were on duty on a fateful day have also been summoned to appear before the committee tomorrow.

“The files which we have been looking for are not available and we’re looking at the possibilities, the options where are these files. But we shall make our own conclusions after we speak to Mrs Bagyenda, but also after we have reviewed the footage. What is there now is it’s strange that the security rules of Bank of Uganda were breached and they were breached by Mrs Bagyenda, but we need to hear from her such that we make a fair conclusion. Isn’t it possible that the files we’re talking about are the files that made their way our of the bank? And if we come to that conclusion, we’ll be asking consequential questions; why would somebody take away these files.”

The ongoing parliamentary probe stems from a 2017 forensic audit by the auditor general who raised matters of irregularities in the closure and sell of the aforementioned commercial banks.

Contradictory statements are coming out of central bank staff, at times counter-accusing each other about the ugly mess of managing the banking sector. Bagyenda, who snubbed the probe last week after reportedly flying abroad, has been mentioned as a key figure in the closure of the banks.

Meanwhile, Mutebile said that despite having retired in June 2018, Bagyenda still maintains security from the central bank.

“Because of the points she raised that there were allegations of witch hunt, Mrs Bagyenda asked for security measures pending the resolution of Crane bank case in court and the Bank of Uganda agreed to maintain security until December 31 this year.” said Mutebile. 


+5 #1 Kelly 2018-11-27 18:28
It is very painful to see clueless, emasculated and pathetic probe team and “security” officials from BOU playing comedy in front of the media when we as Ugandans are frustrated to the bone marrow at the whims of these callous Ugandans.

What were the cameras for? Make a recording or provide a recording that should pre-empt any negative action, or if not, then lead to actions that can reverse the damage?

So Bagyenda’s body guard and driver are seen ferrying out three boxes from the store and they are not stopped to check what they were carrying? Since when did personal properties find their ways into the office? Were they there for safe custody?

What are the BOU rules regarding custody of personal belongings? And of what importance is the reviewing of the footage by these IT knowledge-less M-pigs? Scan and retrieve the contents of the boxes? Silly just!!!
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+4 #2 rubangakene 2018-11-27 22:48
Well, well, well; she is now "home and dry" having squirrelled incriminating evidence out of reach; just imagine the bare faced cheek of this woman.

She has been running circles around these so called elite individuals in the bloated probe team since 2017.

Meanwhile we the voters, citizens and taxpayers, the very important stakeholders can only read and wonder in bewilderment what on earth is going on with Uganda.

We have watched her "shift the loot by light of day, not night" until she boarded that plane: "TA, TA, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN", as the plane thunders merrily away with the truth. Oh God, not another one.
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+1 #3 Paul K K 2018-11-28 09:14
Mutebile and Co are simply playing games with us. They want to find a way out after being conored and this is a perfect scapegoat.

I am surprised that Katuntu is not seeing this. May be money has already exchanged hands.
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+1 #4 Isaac Musinguzi 2018-11-28 11:29
The problem is with the appointing authority. These bosses at BoU are handpicked by the president to do exactly what they are doing i.e steal publick funds and hide evidence of the theft.

These BoU workers and top brass in other government institutions and ministries are appointed not based on their experience and dedicated service but are appointed to bleed Ugandan coffers dry.

Unless the appointing authority is held liable, these investigations won't benefit Uganda and Ugandans but are merely ping-pong games to please the dictator.
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+1 #5 jose 2018-11-28 14:15
All these people are thieves at all times

can u imagine such a person under probe flying out

if it was Besigye attending a rally there the police would be very vigilant
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-1 #6 Treva 2018-11-28 16:45
Do Ag's 'queries' arise in good faith? Previous parliamentary allegations were that BOU should never have licensed some of these banks?

Now parliament is defending the same bankers? That is called 'double jeopardy'.

Either banks were mismanaged or not. Nothing else matters. Parliament incompetent on this material issue.
Or Should BOU consult Katuntu on its future actions?

BOU cannot make good decisions if they are to be subjected to tainted political inquiry.

The President, alone, is at liberty to sack BOU directorates. Such decisions cannot be dictated by parliament.

Criminal allegations about BOU staff, or civil disputes about unfair bank closures, go to CID or to court.

Yet Katuntu is now CID, URA, Supreme Court, ISO, bank regulator, in fact, he is acting head of state, appointed by parliament. The entire probe is unconstitutional and has no merit or justification.
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0 #7 Lakwena 2018-11-29 09:37
In other words, she is the mother of all the kawukumi inside and outside Bank of Uganda.
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0 #8 Lakwena 2018-11-29 10:06
Quoting Paul K K:
Mutebile and Co are simply playing games with us. They want to find a way out after being conored and this is a perfect scapegoat.

I am surprised that Katuntu is not seeing this. May be money has already exchanged hands.

Paul K K, Mutebile and Bagyenda may one day have to Ugandanns e.g., about most of the high-end mushroomed private Primary, secondary Schools and Universities, but whose owners didn't even have straw-mats for bedding.
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