HOT SEAT: IGG Irene Mulyagonja

A youth organisation has threatened to drag to court the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Justice Irene Mulyagonja, for alleged failure to release a report on the alleged illicit wealth of former Bank of Uganda (BoU) executive director of bank supervision Ms Justine
Bagyenda.

The organisation-Youth Power Research Uganda through Nsubuga K.S & Co. Advocates want the IGG to release a report on the investigations so far carried out on Bagyenda’ alleged illicit wealth, with the lawyers giving the IGG two days from receipt of the letter to respond to their
client’s demands. The IGG received the letter on March 21,2019.

The lawyers also threatened the IGG with Shs15 million as legal costs
should she fail to respond to their client’s claims within the
stipulated time.
They claim that Bagyenda is a close associate of the IGG, the reason the latter has failed to investigate and produce the report on the former’s alleged illicit wealth, they claim has never been declared.

“Take notice that your actions are not only malicious and breach of constitutional and legal duty but also have caused a lot of confusion in society, anxiety and mistrust of your office to our client,” the letter reads in part.

They accuse the IGG of failing to investigate Bagyenda over the closure of Crane Bank Limited and others as cited in August 2018 by the Auditor General John Muwanga and later parliament’s report (COSASE report) on the closure of the same banks.

They allege that their follow up with the IGG on the same issue led to the arrest of some of the organisation’s representatives for alleged blackmail and threatening violence, a charge, the lawyers say was raised by the IGG.

IGG’s early responses

In June 2018, Justice Mulyagonja revealed that she was compiling a report about the matter.
Ms Bagyenda, who faces allegations of amassing wealth in the whistleblowers petitions to the IGG, was also being investigated by Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) over money laundering
accusations.

On February 20, a whistleblower petitioned the IGG to investigate Ms Bagyenda, referring to different assets, and the billions of shillings she allegedly held in two bank accounts in Kampala.

However, more than three months later, the IGG came under pressure as critics raise concerns over the duration of the investigations and also some of the sections of the public alleging that she had blocked the process because Ms Bagyenda is her friend.

“Ms Bagyenda’s investigations and asset verification has been carried out by the Leadership Code Directorate in the office of the IGG,” a statement said then in June.

The IGG said much as there is public interest in the matter, her office by law is not supposed to reveal every step of investigations of any kind to the public but reports are sent to the relevant
government agencies that have authority over the person being investigated.

“We welcome any other authority that can verify Bagyenda’s assets. We shall hand over the declarations so that authority does the verification so that the public stops accusing me of being friends with this woman. I don’t know where they trace me being a friend ofBagyenda.
I came to know Justine Bagyenda as director of bank supervision about two years ago. Before that, I didn’t know this woman (Bagyenda),” she said.

Mulyagonja, who also clarified that her investigations into Ms Bagyenda does not relate to the sale of Crane Bank by the Central Bank, said her verification of assets report will be sent to the
Parliament Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises which is doing other investigations on Bank of Uganda.