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Uganda: Closed banks scandal: Bagyenda flies out of the country, faces arrest

Former Director of Supervision for Commercial banks, Ms Justine Bagyenda who was today (November 23) supposed to appear before the MPs on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) as the probe into closure of seven commercial banks continues did not show up.

Ms Bagyenda wrote to the Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, indicating that she would not appear before the committee today because she had travelled outside the country for some engagements.

“This is to inform you that I will be out of the country from the evening of November 22, 2018, to attend to some engagements which I have confirmed before receipt of your letter Ref Gov. 902 dated 19/11, 2018 regarding Cosase meeting,”

reads part of Ms Bagyenda’s letter copied to BOU deputy governor Louis Kasekende and Cosase chairperson, Mr Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County MP).

Upon receipt of Ms Bagyenda’s letter, the committee members were furious, prompting Mr Katuntu to issue fresh summons requiring her to appear next week on Tuesday without fail or face arrest.

Mr Katuntu also instructed CID Police to go to immigration to verify Ms Bagyenda’s alleged trip abroad.

However, while appearing before the committee on Thursday, Ms Bagyenda and another former BoU director for supervision, Ms Margaret Matovu,

said they handed over progressive reports on three closed commercial banks at the time of their departure from the central bank, but the Governor, Mr Tumusiime-Mutebile insisted that no such reports were submitted to him.

Ms Matovu and Ms Bagyenda told the ongoing parliamentary inquiry into the closure of commercial banks that progressive reports on the liquidation of Cooperative Bank, International Credit Bank and Greenland Bank were submitted to the Governor.

Ms Bagyenda also told Cosase that the missing progressive reports on Greenland Bank were given to the board.

The committee however rejected her explanation and demanded for hard copies of the reports she received from Mr Benedict Ssekabira. Ms Bagyenda is also wanted to explain the sale of Crane Bank to dfcu at Shs200b.

The unavailability of the progressive reports has become a source of contention because they give details into how BoU downgraded assets of the three banks from Shs117b when they were closed in the 1990s to Shs19b when the central bank did a final Statement of Affairs on the defunct banks in June 2016.

Trouble started after her Successor (Tumubweine Twinemanzi) refuted Ms Bagyenda’s claims that the progressive reports were included in her hand over report.

By Daily Monitor

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