BoU Crisis: MPs order arrest of Bagyenda’s aides

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AT Team

KAMPALA, UGANDA – The parliamentary committee investigating the closure of commercial banks yesterday ordered police to arrest the driver and bodyguard of Ms Justine Bagyenda, the embattled former executive Director for supervision at the central bank.

The arrest warrant of Mr Job Turyahabwe (driver) and Ms Juliet Adikot (bodyguard) was issued after the duo gave contradicting testimonies to the committee in relation to Ms Bagyenda’s itinerary on the day three bags were returned to the central bank on February 10, 2018.

Mr Charles Mollo and Ms Beatrice Kyambadde, the BoU security personnel, who were manning the access points that Ms Bagyenda used, were also arrested for negligence because they allowed her in and out without conducting the requisite checks as spelt out in the BoU security manual.

The two had initially told a sub-committee chaired by the Army MP, Brig Francis Takirwa, that they drove Ms Bagyenda from Entebbe airport directly to BoU.

However, the footage retrieved from BoU’s Vehicle Tracking GPS system tracked Ms Bagyenda’s movements from Entebbe airport to Kiswa.

It shows that, “It left the airport at 12.03pm and it was in Kiswa from 1.25pm. It was parked in Kiswa for some time at 2pm because it shows that the mileage is not moving. It was in Kiswa from 1.57pm to 4.59pm. At around 5pm, it started moving at 12km/hr to Bugolobi-Kitintale-Mbuya up to Kampala Road which I suspect is BoU at 6:22pm,” Mr Opiyo quoted the BoU GPS Vehicle Tracking System.

In their defence, Mr Turyahabwe and Ms Adikot said they could not recollect all the movements of that day but admitted that the footage from the GPS was accurate.

“I have driven Ms Bagyenda for two years. I have been moving a lot. Sometimes as a human being, you can forget but when he [Opiyo] was reading the movements, I remembered where we passed,” Mr Turyahabwe said.

It is evident that there was a serious security breach of BoU’s security. Rule 20(15) of the Security Policy states that, “All persons shall go through a security screening without exception. 20(16) states all items brought into the bank shall go through security screening without exception but on two occasions, these rules were not adhered to,” Brig Takirwa’s report said.

The Committee chairperson Mr Abdu Katuntu asked the parliamentary CID Police to open an investigation on the conduct of the four officers and submit weekly reports to the committee until a final statement is recorded.

“The officers who carried this property have lied on oath. We would like to know what exactly the contents of those bags were and how you [and Bagyenda] travelled. Where did you leave those bags?” Mr Katuntu asked.

Ms Bagyenda will appear before the committee on Monday after her lawyers requested for extension of her summons as she – [Ms Bagyenda] was currently at a conference in the United States.

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