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Ex BoU Officials in Trouble as Whistleblower Petitions Museveni Over Sale Of Defunct Banks

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Former Bank of Uganda Officials are in deep trouble as a disgruntled whistleblower has petitioned the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni seeking to investigate and prosecute the former executives over allegations of involving themselves in corruption and the fraudulent sale of seven defunct banks.

The petitioner identified as Sam Brian Kakuru, in his petition wants the president to institute an investigation into the operations of former Bank of Uganda deputy governor Dr Louis Kasekende; Justine Bagyenda, the former BoU executive director in charge of bank supervision, former deputy governor Louis Kasekende, Benedict Ssekabira and Margaret Kasule over what he calls the “illegal closure and sale of banks according to evidence of the COSASE report of 2019.

“Your Excellency as you may be aware that it’s now almost three years since COSASE committee of the parliament closed its investigations into the irregular sale of seven defunct banks, with recommendations to hold culpable the implicated officials, but nothing yet has been done. A forensic parliamentary audit by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC-COSASE) discovered that the three – Kasekende, Bagyenda and Sekabira, profited from the botched closure of seven commercial banks and other fraudulent acts during the process,” part of the petition reads.

The petitioner adds; “Your excellency, there has been overwhelming evidence according to COSASE report of 2019 all over citing corruption scandals in the central bank to mention but a few; fraudulent closure of 7 defunct banks, irregularities on appointments within the Bank Of Uganda, conflict of interest in bidding processes in construction of bank of Uganda currency centers, among others in the bank of Uganda.”

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He added that in the committee report, it recommended that the relevant arms of government like the Inspectorate General of Government (IGG), Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) take interest in how the trio acquired astronomical wealth.

“Following the above background, we have petitioned the DPP, IGG severally on then irregularities in the closure of seven defunct banks prompting the call for further action but all in vain,” he says.

“It is very clear as per the COSASE report that the said officials abused their authority by doing whatever they did in contravention of section 90 of the Financial Institutions Act and other relevant laws,” Kakuru adds.

The petitioner says, he feels let down as no action has been taken against the alleged culprits as they petitioned on the same matter to CID police, IGG and DPP upon advice from the anti-corruption court of the high court of Uganda to carry out investigations and prosecute them.

“As petitioners and concerned citizens we served our petitions on the same subject matter to CID police, IGG and DPP upon advice from the anti-corruption court of the high court of Uganda to carry out investigations and prosecute the alleged culprits in the fraudulent closure of 7 defunct banks however as petitioners we feel let down as no action has been taken against alleged culprits,” he says.

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“Creditors and owners (shareholders) of the defunct banks that is International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank and Crane Bank among others whose properties were taken over and sold by Bank of Uganda fraudulently and at giveaway prices are still waiting for Justice thus justice delayed is justice denied.”

“Under your directive the anti-corruption agencies should take action on the above subject matter since they are already in receipt of the above complaint and available reports pinning the culprits in the Bank of Uganda saga.”

“The police is also supposed to investigate, how certificate of titles belonging to former clients of the above three defunct banks ended up in the possession of city lawyers, yet they were originally in the possession of the central bank, following the closure of the respective banks,” he wrote.

The COSASE report on the sale/closure of banks which was released in February 2019 called for wide ranging changes at the central bank. It also called for punishment of the implicated officials.

Among other things, the report recommended that contracts of the governor of Bank of Uganda Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy, Dr Louis Kasekende should not be renewed.

The report singled out other officials that should be held culpable in the mismanagement of the sale of some commercial banks. These are: Benedict Ssekabira, the director of Financial Markets Development Coordination (FMDC), Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director for Commercial Banks supervision; and Margaret Kasule, the legal counsel.

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