Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) has directed that the Auditor General John Muwanga carry out a special audit on how BoU spent Shs478.8 billion on Crane Bank Limited (CBL) as liquidity support and other intervention costs.
The directive followed the failure by BoU officials to explain how the money was spent. The officials failed to present convincing documents showing how exactly the money was used as it took over the management of CBL between October 2016 and January 2017.
BoU closed Crane Bank on account of being insolvent. It would later sell its assets to Dfcu Bank at Shs200 billion, paid in installments. Dfcu Bank has paid about Shs98 billion of that money.
The committee has been probing BoU for almost a month over the closure and sale of seven commercial banks. The MPs on the committee are using the Auditor General’s report revealed irregularities in the sale of the banks-CBL, Global Trust Bank, Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Teefe Trust Bank.
BoU officials days ago were not on the same page when asked how much undercapitalised Crane Bank was before they took a decision to shut it down. Governor Tumusiime Mutebile admitted he didn’t have the right figure while Ben Ssekabira, the Director Financial Markets Coordination, said it was Shs157 billion
Of the Shs478.8 billion Shs12.20 billion was paid to the providers of legal services, IT services, surveyors’ services among others. However there is Shs 720,406 billion spent on ‘special exercise (CBL). BoU claims Shs 4.8 billion was used to pay terminal benefits of former CBL workers.
Cosase Chairman Abdu Katuntu said BoU should say where the money came from and whether it was properly utilized. He said the documentation so far provided by BoU staff make no sense in as far as accountability and transparency are concerned. “Was this money utilized properly? This is the query here,” he said. “Where did this money come from?” He asked.
Documentations for purposes of verifying. What we got were names schedules and figures.
Katuntu also said his committee want to know whether the Shs478.8 billion was required given that CBL only needed Shs157 billion to stabilise its operations. “Was that money actually required? Did that money pay the customers?” He asked
The BoU deputy governor Dr. Louis Kasekende said the institution welcomed the special audit of Shs478.8 billion.