PARLIAMENT – MPs on Monday declined the former Executive Director, Banking Supervision, Bank of Uganda Bagyenda’s request to have her driver and aides released by Police.
According to Parliament, the case is within Police’s hands and not Parliament.
The rejection followed a spirited plea by Bagyenda who ‘apologised’ for any inconvenience she had caused by her controversial absence last week and vowed not to snub any Committee proceedings but asked to have Juliet Adikolet (bodyguard) and Job Turyahebwa (driver) who were arrested alongside the Bank of Uganda security staff Beatrice Kyambadde and Charles Omoro arrested last week released.
Bagyenda pleaded: “I would, however, wish to make the special request that the bodyguard and driver are set free to meet justice.”
However, Chairperson, Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) replied arguing that the people Bagyenda was pleading with lied (on oath) before the Committee and the matter is being investigated by Police.
He explained: “Justice is about the law taking its course. Both of them lied on oath which is a criminal offence and were forwarded to Police for management we have nothing to do that case except giving evidence.
“The issue of bags is still on table we see the property of the bank going through without authorization. We don’t set people free, that isn’t our job. I am sure Police and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) will manage this professionally.”
It should be recalled that Bagyenda’s driver and bodyguard were arrested last week after they were found to have lied about their movement and that of the mysterious bags that were sneaked out of the Central Bank in total breach of the central Bank’s security system.
The duo had argued that in March 2018 when they picked Bagyenda from the airport, they drove straight to the Central Bank, contrary to details contained in the vehicle tracking record which showed that the team had parked in Kiswa Bugoloobi for about 2hours.
Relatedly, Bagyenda apologized for skipping the Committee proceedings and thanked the Committee for extending her arrest warrant on two occasions and vowed to abide by the Committee rules.
Bagyenda said: “Despite the social media propaganda, I was glad to learn that MPs understood my predicament. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience my absence from Uganda caused. I want to assure you that I am willing to corporate and assist the committee. I pledge my total commitment from now onwards. You also guided that the probe isn’t targeting any individual but Bank of Uganda, that I take solace in your assurances.”
Despite the emotional apology, Moses Kasibante said that the Committee wasn’t happy with Bagyenda’s conduct, “We never understood when you just mysteriously disappeared. We had put an arrest warrant but it didn’t mature, so don’t be convinced that we are convinced. We never understood how you could just leave. We are still never happy, so don’t say we never understood.”
Elijah Okupa (Kasiro County) called on the Committee to have Bagyenda’s passport confiscated for verification about her travel after contradictory statements emerged regarding her destination with Bagyenda saying she had travelled to United States, yet other reports showed she was in Nairobi-Kenya.