City lawyer David Mpanga who is the Attorney of the UK-based KUENE +NAGEL, has come out to say the Bank of Uganda (BoU) is to blame in the on-going currency consignment saga, saying that the binding agreement which it signed with the airline stipulates that in case of any breakdown, the latter in not less than 24 hours can get an alternative to do the work.
The counsel who has of recent appeared in BoU scandals and was declared by court as conflicted in the case between Crane Bank Limited, DFCU Bank and BoU made the remarks after summoned the airline operators and owners to help investigators understand how unexpected cargo came on board with printed currency on a government-chartered plane. The plane departed from Liege Airport in France and landed at Entebbe International Airport in the morning of April 27.
The revelation that Mpanga is an attorney for the airline could complicate investigation further because just before last year, Mpanga was as well an external counsel of BoU and a close associate of people like Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende who are of interest to the ongoing probe. According to sources at BoU, the printing of money was allegedly authorised by Dr. Kasekende while the Governor was on leave.
Investigators are investigating alleged printing of unauthorised extra currency of Shs90 billion in Germany by some BoU officials.
On Wednesday, ACU and police arrested several BoU officials in charge of currency, procurement and security and officials from the Customs Department, airport police officers and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff.
Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, said that the investigation seeks to find out why the UK airline ended up carrying private cargo of different individuals and agencies.
Nakalema said investigators want to establish who cleared the cargo as it arrived at Entebbe.
Meanwhile police spokesperson Fred Enanga yesterday said they raided homes of six senior bank officials and recovered the documents which suggest printing of unauthorised excess currency notes.
Without revealing the identities, Mr Enanga said the officials are still in police detention as investigations continue.
“The searches were done in the homes of the officials and a number of documents were recovered. With time, we shall get how much was involved, how much (money) has been recovered, what was genuine (currency), [and] what was unofficial, but genuine money,” Enanga said.
Mr Enanga said police are investigating whether the established procedures to print money were duly followed.
He said the investigating officers would analyse the serial numbers of the printed currency notes now in possession of the Central Bank to establish whether they are fake or genuine but unofficially printed.
In a statement last Friday, BoU Governor Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said that on April 27, the Central Bank received a currency consignment but during the verification process, the staff reported an anomaly in the inventory of the expected consignment.
“Therefore, I requested the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House to investigate the matter. The unit has started investigations and BoU is fully co-operating with the process,” Mr Mutebile said without divulging further details.