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Uganda: Ex-BoU chiefs, Mutebile clash over closed banks

Parliament. Two former Bank of Uganda (BoU) directors for supervision yesterday 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 Margaret Matovu and Ms Justine 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.

“Mr [Benedict] Ssekabira used to make regular reports to the department and we received them and some of them were forwarded to the governor’s office.

On a quarterly basis, he used to draft board papers in which one of the items to report to the Board was the status of the closed banks,” Ms Matovu said.
However, Mr Mutebile denied receiving such reports.

The unavailability of these 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.

An audit report before the committee indicates that because of lack of an assets movement schedule, auditors were unable to verify the change of value of assets from Shs117b by the time the three banks were closed to Shs19b as stated in BoU’s Statement of Affairs by June 30, 2017.

Mr Benedict Ssekabira, the BoU’s director for financial markets development coordination, who was the central bank’s agent in the liquidation process, insists he submitted progressive reports to the officers who variously occupied the office of executive director for supervision.

Mr Mutebile on Monday told the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) that his office was never furnished with progressive reports on the three closed banks.

His position was yesterday contradicted by Ms Bagyenda who insisted she received reports from the central bank’s liquidator, which she summarised and submitted to the Governor.

“The reports were submitted by Mr Ssekabira to the office of the director through the head supervision. These reports would be summarised and reported to the Governor’s office. In my recollection, there were progressive reports made to the board,” Ms Bagyenda said.

Mr Mutebile, who chairs the BoU Board, did not respond to Ms Bagyenda’s claim but Mr Tumubweine Twinemanzi, the executive director for supervision, shot back that the handover report he inherited from Ms Bagyenda did not include quarterly progressive reports on the closed banks as demanded by the terms of reference.

“They did not include quarterly reports. Report X is just an appraisal report of movable assets. Those were things like cars and motorcycles owned by Greenland Bank,” Mr Tumubweine said.

By Daily Monitor

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