Mr Milton Opio, the Central Bank’s security director, has pinned Ms Justine Bagyenda, the former director of supervision at Bank of Uganda, on the disappearance of critical documents from the bank.
The Parliamentary committee investigating alleged irregularities by the Central Bank in the closure of seven banks have for days stalled as BoU officials wrangled over who was in possession of the missing critical documents—liquidation reports on the defunct banks which contain their assets taken over at the time of closure.
However, Mr Opiyo told Cosase, (Parliamentary inquiry), that when CCTV footage was played, it showed Ms Bagyenda’s driver and bodyguard retrieving three bags of documents from the bank and depositing them in Ms Bagyenda’s car in the evening of February 11.
Two bags were returned to the bank the next day, Mr Opiyo said, but security personnel at the bank were unable to verify whether the returned bags had any documents or what sort of documents had been taken out.
“We played back the cameras, we found that bags were ferried from BoU to Bagyenda’s car. We wanted to start the search at her home to find out what kind of documents were taken but didn’t because security had not seen the type of documents. We consulted and we [concluded] that if we go and do a search at [her] home, we may be embarrassed because we had issues where she [Bagyenda] said she was being witch-hunted,” Mr Opiyo said.
The Bank of Uganda governor, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, said Ms Bagyenda was provided with security by the bank after she complained of being witch-hunted.
“Because of the points she made that there were allegations of harassment [and] witch-hunt, Ms Bagyenda requested for special security measures for her protection pending the resolution of Crane Bank cases and BoU agreed to maintain her security until December 31,” Mr Mutebile told the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) that is investigating the disputed closure of seven banks.
Mr Mutebile also promised to launch an investigation into how a confidential letter about key documents he wrote to Cosase Chairman was leaked by BoU staff to social media sites prior to being signed off.
The MPs yesterday questioned the integrity of the country’s monetary system, warning that BoU staff can even spirit off with chunks of money given the security lapses at the central bank.
Ms Bagyenda is currently abroad and the committee has issued a two-day ultimatum for her to either show up tomorrow or face arrest warrants by Interpol.