The former Bank of Uganda (BoU) Executive Director for supervision, Justine Bagyenda has for the second time not appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) as demanded that she appears on Tuesday (Today).
The MPs were bitter that they wanted a warrant of arrest issued against Bagyenda on account of contempt of Parliament but Committee Chairman Abdu Katuntu thought otherwise.
Instead Katuntu extended summons for Bagyenda to Thursday this week and failure to appear again before the Committee, a warrant of arrest will be automatically issued against her.
On November 23, Ms Bagyenda wrote an email saying she was unlikely to appear before Cosase on Tuesday as MPs continue to quiz BoU top officials over the controversial closure of seven commercial banks. The exact whereabouts of Bagyenda are not known, though it was said she had traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands while other sources say she is in Nairobi.
Last Friday Bagyenda did not appear before the committee, having flown out of the country on Thursday evening ostensibly to attend to private engagements. Ms Bagyenda is a key witness in the on-going probe, having participated in the liquidation of some of the defunct banks which were under her jurisdiction.
“Hon. Sir, the current engagement …I am on was planned long before the Governor’s communication and it is core to my private life,” Ms Bagyenda said in her email to Katuntu on November 23.
“On account of my said engagement and the fact that my air ticket is restricted, I strongly regret my inability to appear before the COSASE on Tuesday November 27, 2018. My schedule date of return is 13th December 2018,” she wrote.
Ms Bagyenda’s failure to appear before the committee last Friday forced Katuntu to order that she be issued summons to come back in the country and appear before the committee on Tuesday (Today) and failure to return would attract a warrant of arrest.
MP Beatrice Anywa said Bagyenda has taken the committee for the ride and called on Katuntu to contact Interpol immediately. She suggested that witnesses needed should not fly out of the country or their passports be withheld.
On the same Friday last week, Ms Bagyenda claimed she handed over quarterly progressive reports of defunct Greenland Bank to her successor Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi but he denied he ever received such reports during the handover. BoU Governor also denied he ever received the reports in his office. Bank of Uganda’s Director for Financial Markets Development Coordination, Benedict Sekabira said during the probe last Thursday that he forwarded documents to Bagyenda
Greenland Bank’s loans were sold together with loans of International Credit Bank (ICB) and the Cooperative Bank at Shs8.89 billion, following a 93 percent discount, to mysterious company Nile River Acquisition.