Details have emerged that a group Bank of Uganda staff across the eight currency centers have been sharing old notes worth billions of shillings in the selected rural districts of Uganda including Luwero and others.
The group that includes senior managers of the central bank have been doing this practice for years without the knowledge of the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
Following the currency saga BoU has issued a directive to internally which has leaked. However, that directive confirms the currency manipulation that has been taking place of the notes and the stealing of old currency to certain individuals. The sources further told Eagle Online that what is strange is that these group of people involved in the were reportedly recommended by a senior person in the central bank and were evenly distributed across the eight centre and therefore, it isn’t surprising that they are the ones participating in the currency stealing.
According to the procedures, before disposing off collected old notes, BoU staff are supposed to punch holes in the notes so that they don’t return to circulation, but the staff have over the years taken out the notes without punching holes in the notes, well knowing it is illegal.
Bank of Uganda has eight currency centers in Jinja, Mbale, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Gulu and Arua.
Analysts say it is the reason why the country still has so many old shilling notes in circulation. “The affected BoU staff connive with their friends to circulate these notes,” an analyst said, adding that many BoU staff involved in this crime have benefited from it, with many setting up businesses in real estate, hotels and merchandise trade.
Days ago, this website was the first to report that three staff of BoU Mbale Currency Centre were arrested as they reportedly smuggled out old notes in sacks. According to security sources, the three are part of the racket in BoU that smuggle out money which is supposed to be destroyed.
Click on the link below to read full BoU warning letter.
A combined team of security operatives from police, intelligence and military stormed the currency centre after a tip off from an internal staff why it had become norm for money which is supposed to be destroyed was being ferried outside the bank and shared amongst top staff.
To address the challenge of stealing the old notes, the acting director in the BoU currency department, Bazinzi Natamba, has issued a warning to note examiners and other staff. Among the new measures Natamba has introduced is that no note examiner should access a counting /machine room of another currency centre without authorization.
In yesterday’s internal MEMO, Natamba further warned that no staff other than note examiners should participate in the counting machine room activities such as sorting, punching and strapping of stocks.
“Always ensure that the daily CCTV recordings are reviewed. Immediately stop staff from carrying into the counting rooms any items such as tea, water, eats, juices, among others, for personal use. Urgently remove waste baskets/boxes in the counting rooms,” he said.
In June, State House, police and other agencies were investigating BoU over the extra Shs90 billion that was printed separately and shipped into the country without the knowledge of the governor Tumusiime- Mutebile.
The director of Currency department at Bank of Uganda, Charles Malinga was arrested and arraigned before Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo over the extra printing of money before his appearance, Francis Kakeeto, a branch manager at Mbale and Fred Wanyama were charged with abuse of office and in alternative corruption which they have both denied before magistrate Herbert Asiimwe.
The huge money is said to have been transferred to Masaka on June 14, 2019, the time when investigators started probing BoU and other officials over the anomaly in the consignment of the 20 pallets packed with Uganda Shillings notes that were delivered at Entebbe International Airport by BoU chartered plane on April 26, even though, extra five pallets were on board and their whereabouts is unknown.