The former Bank of Uganda (BoU) executive director of supervision, Justine Bagyenda, was on Monday put on oath as she appeared before Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) alongside the bank’s staff. The oath means should Bagyenda lie to the committee she will be arrested just like what happened to her former aides last week.
Bagyenda had earlier on apologised to the MPs for her absence in the last two weeks when they needed her to give more information on missing documents related to the liquidation of seven commercial banks. But the MPs have asked her to deposit her two passports-the International passport and the East African Passport.
The order to have Bagyenda deposit her documents came after MP Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) warned her not to disappear again, suggesting that she deposits the passports with parliament.
MP James Waluswaka suggested that parliament confines Bagyenda even if she hands over her passports to parliament. Katuntu declined to issue any orders to do with confinement of Bagyenda, saying that she is now back in the country and will honour parliament as expected.
Bagyenda pleaded with the committee to let the police release her former bodyguard and driver who were arrested by police last week after telling lies having taken on oath. But Committee Chairman Abdu Katuntu said releasing the two persons is the duty of the police not parliament. “The law is taking its own course. Parliament has nothing to do with it,” Katuntu said.
Bagyenda lauded the committee saying it had understood her situation, even though she said social media has carried out propaganda messages about the situation. Today was the last day for a warrant of arrest to be issued against Bagyenda if she had not appeared.
On amalgamation of loans of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank and Cooperative Bank before selling them to Nile River Acquisition Company, Bagyenda said secured loans had weaknesses such as family ownership and squatters. For this reason, she said BoU could not collect monies on secured loans. When asked about the evaluation documents/reports Bagyenda said her successor Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi, should look for them on archives. BoU sold the loans at Shs8.89 billion yet they had book value of over Shs34 billion. The secured loans, unsecured loans, poorly secured loans and unknown loans were sold at 93 percent.
When asked whether she did an evaluation of the loans assets before putting them on market using hired law firm JN Kirkland & Associates, Bagyenda instead asked that Director, Financial Markets Development Coordination, Benedict Sekabira shed more light on the same. The hired company is said to have done desktop evaluation of the assets of the loans of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank and Cooperative Bank.
Representatives of JN Kirkland & Associates were sent summons to appear before the committee today but the firm’s physical address is nowhere to be traced despite having some presence on Google.
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The MPs were concerned that BoU did not use professional valuer to evaluate the assets upon which loans were given out. No reports were availed by BoU on the same.
MPs want valuation reports that Bagyenda claims were done by Bagaine and company. Katuntu has asked that BoU come with reports tomorrow without fail.
MP Waluswaka suggested that Bagyenda be put under medical examination to establish if she has a mental problem but Katuntu ruled him out saying that the Auditor General’s report does not mention that issue since it all about audit issues.
On liquidation costs of Shs18.02 billion, BoU failed to present financial ledgers related to those costs. “I noted, that BOU did not maintain financial ledgers in relation to the liquidation costs,” Muwanga said in his report.
Deputy Governor Dr. Louis Kasekende said some documents are in the bank’s finance department. However Katuntu wondered how BoU officials could not understand what the Auditor General wanted.