KAMPALA: President Museveni has directed Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the Inspector General of Government to investigate officials who have been mismanaging Bank of Uganda causing financial loss amounting to Shs2 trillion, Dailypost has learnt.
The officials to be investigated are among others, former BoU Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende, former Director for Commercial Banks Supervision Justine Bagyenda, head of legal Margaret Kasule and Benedict Sekabira, BoU Director for Financial Markets Development Coordination among others.
According to trusted sources, the IGG and ISO have been directed by President Yoweri Museveni to investigate the officials, after it was revealed that the Ugandan central bank has been making losses for the past 13 years when the above officials were in charge.
It was not readily clear why governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile was not on the list, sources, have availed us.
Last week, David Bahati, the State Minister for Planning at the Finance Ministry revealed that the Central Bank made losses amounting to Shs2 trillion in the past 13 years.
In a response to a Question for Oral Answer posed by MP Kenneth Lubogo (NRM, Bulamogi), Bahati said the Bank of Uganda posted only Shs40 billion in profits in 15 years, which was remitted to the Consolidated Fund Account as required by the Bank of Uganda Act. The Shs40 billion profits were registered in 2007, and since then, the Central Bank has been making losses.
MP Lubogo sought to know the “profits or losses BoU has made annually for the last 15 years; when was the last time BoU made profits?”
“Bank of Uganda trades in securities; the minister is talking of making losses; can the minister brief the country the circumstances under which the bank made the losses yet it trades in securities,” said MP Richard Othieno (NRM, West Budama North), who was holding forte for MP Lubogo, in a supplementary question.
Minister Bahati, however, said BoU made losses and nothing can be done about it.
“The bank truly trades in securities but it invests in monetary policies that involves in making losses; these are the facts on the ground; we cannot do anything about it because a loss is a loss,” said Bahati. 2018, the IGG started an investigation into the wealth of 100 BoU top officials including Kasekende , his boss, Tumusiime Mutebile and Bagyenda among others, but it didn’t go further.
In his declaration of income, assets and liabilities form to the IGG, Mr Kasekende revealed that he made his wealth through savings from research grants, salary, travel allowances, mutually agreed separation allowance from AfDB, pension BoU and AfDB as well as a disturbance allowance by Bank of Uganda.
In the same form, Kasekende, who was last reappointed deputy governor on January 18, 2015, also listed rental income as another source of wealth, citing five properties in upscale Gaba, Lubowa, Ntinda, Naguru and Kololo valued at Shs2.1b, Shs1.4b, Shs0.39b, Shs1.3b and Shs2b. These, he declares, bring in a monthly fee of USD13,233 (Shs52m).
On top of that, Kasekende has a residential house worth Shs0.5b as well as a farm valued at Shs500m and Greenhill Academy (jointly owned with his wife Edith Kasekende) among other multi-billion assets.
However, sources say, Mr Kasekende has more than the listed properties.
Bagyenda name returns in the news
In another petition to the IGG, a whistle blower claimed that Mrs Bagyenda has accumulated more than Shs 19 billion within a space of two years. The money, the whistleblower claimed has been put on bank accounts in various commercial banks that included Diamond Trust Bank and Barclays Bank. The Banks made public apology to Mrs Bagyenda after bank statements purported to be hers, flooded social media.
The former powerful lady the Central Bank was also linked to 17 properties in central and western Uganda worth several billions, according to the petitioner. Bagyenda was supposed to declare her wealth to the IGG last December but she never did.
BoU refuses to leave the eye of the storm
Bank of Uganda has for the past three years made headlines, exposing the once guarded institutions to notorious excesses of maladministration, including printing excess money, diverting old currency meant for destruction, employment without qualifications scandals, among others.
However it was the Parliament probe implicating the dubious closure of seven commercial banks without following the letter of the law, which shook the world. Among the closed bank are; Teefe bank (1993), International Credit Bank (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), Cooperative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and Crane Bank (2016).
The closure of Crane Bank in 2016 triggered interest in the affairs of Bank of Uganda. It was revealed in several testimonies that officials of BoU acted with reckless abandon while closing banks, whereby some financial institutions were closed and sold through phone calls and whatsapp messages.
Now the revelation that the bank has made losses amounting to sh2 trillion must have riled the President of Uganda to act quickly, as the direction BoU has taken keeps shocking not only the world of banking, but the economic health of Uganda.
How BoU has been making losses since 2008
2008/2009 BoU Lost ugx2.8 billion
2009/2010 BoU Lost ugx140 billion
2010/2011 BoU Lost ugx98 billion
2011/2012 BoU Lost ugx147 billion
2013/2014 BoU Lost ugx114 billion
2014/2015 BoU Lost ugx118 billion
2015/2016 BoU Lost ugx81.9 billion
2016/2017 BoU Lost ugx452 billion
2017/2018 BoU Lost ugx406 billion
2018/2019 BoU Lost ugx195 billion
(Figures from Daily Monitor)