President Museveni
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“All in all, we shall defeat corruption. Like I said, I will make major pronouncements on December 10th in our new fight against graft. I urge Ugandans to listen in,” President Museveni said on Tuesday while addressing the anti-corruption crusaders at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

The above quote is just one of those that Museveni uttered yesterday in his address to people who attended the function. The president mentioned that corruption exists in government agencies like Bank of Uganda (BoU), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Kampala City Council (KCCA). But a look at BoU is paramount as of now as it continues to make headlines for the wrong reasons.

Museveni’s utterances on corruption in the country come at a time when BoU officials are being investigated over the controversial liquidation and sale of assets of seven defunct banks where proper guidelines were skipped and nor convincing reports were made on the disposal of some of the banks whose shareholders want compensation. The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) which is investigating BoU over the messy transactions has exposed the dirt within the bank.

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Eagle Online on Tuesday reported that Museveni is in full support of Cosase after some minister suggested that the investigations be halted “to redeem the image of BoU.” According to sources, Museveni advised BoU not to close Crane Bank but they didn’t heed to his advice. Sources say some BoU officials benefited financially from the liquidation of CBL.

The same is said of other banks such as Global Trust Bank Uganda (GTBU) which was closed and sold in one day for being insolvent. More the loans of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank (ICB) and Cooperative Bank which had a book value of about Shs135 billion were sold at Shs8.89 billion after a discount of 93 percent. Interestingly crucial documents related to the sale cannot be traced or are being hidden by BoU officials.

Sources say the president is perturbed that BoU claims to have spent Shs478.8 billion on CBL during the statutory management (October 20, 2016 to January 20, 2017). What surprised many is that BoU would later sell CBL’s assets to DFCU Bank at Shs200 billion, which money is being paid in installments. According to the Auditor General John Muwanga sold assets of CBL when there was chance to revive it, having spent all that money on it. Interestingly BoU said it sold CBL because it was insolvent.

Mr. Muwanga also does not approve of the Shs 478.8 billion that BoU says it spent due to the fact that some costs are difficult to understand. For instance about Shs720 billion was said to have been spent on “special exercise (CBL)”. BoU claims it spent about Shs5 billion as terminal benefits to former workers of CBL, but this figure is contestable by the workers. BoU also spent on different services thus legal. Surveying, audit but the sourcing of service providers is also questionable. About Shs290 billions of this money is not reflected anywhere in CBL accounts, analysts say.

During the disposal of CBL, BoU assured the public and government that its workers would keep their jobs but this never came to pass as many were laid off after DFCU Bank took over.

That aside, investigations have revealed that some of the former and current BoU officials who were involved in the disposal of some of the banks are very wealthy. For instance Deputy Governor Dr Louis Kasekende and former executive director of supervision Ms Justine Bagyenda have assets worth billions of shillings, with leaked documents showing billions of shillings stashed on their bank accounts. The two officials are under the scrutiny of the Inspector General of Government.

That Museveni is interested in Cosase probe, the BoU officials must be afraid, with some sources suggesting that some have been lined up for sacking even as the MPs continue with the probe from which they will write a report.