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End of the road? COSASE recommends sacking of senior BoU officials over mismanaging sale of banks

A team from Bank of Uganda led by Governor Emmanuel Mutebile and his deputy, Louis Kasekende before the COSASE. The committee has recommended the sacking of BoU senior officials over selling banks. (FILE PHOTO)

PARLIAMENT – The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has recommended that terms of office of senior Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials, including Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy, Dr Louis Kasekende, should not be renewed for allegedly mismanaging the sale of seven commercial banks, including Crane Bank.

The committee headed by Abdu Katuntu started the investigation into the closure of the banks in November and is on Feb 21 expected to table the report findings before Parliament.

Multiple sources involved in compiling the report told this website that all members appended their signatures to the report recommending that senior central bank officials who handled the closure of the commercial banks be held “individually liable” for violating the law particularly the Financial Institutions Act and Bank of Uganda Act.

“We recommended that BoU should never resolve any financial institution without strictly adhering to the provisions of the law like the Financial Institutions Act, Bank of Uganda Act and the National Record and Archives Act,” a source told this website.

The other officials MPs want held culpable are Mr. Benedict Ssekabira, the director of Financial Markets Development Coordination (FMDC), Ms. Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director for Commercial Banks supervision; and Ms. Margaret Kasule, the legal counsel.

The committee has also reportedly recommended that police carry out further investigations to establish the whereabouts of Shs504b BoU claimed to have injected into the banks to prevent their collapse. The report also wants properties of some of the BoU officials and others confiscated over their role in the sale of the commercial banks.

The report recommendations further cast the role of the central bank in managing the economy. For instance, a report by the Auditor General, Mr. John Muwanga, submitted to Parliament last year, indicated that during the period Crane Bank was under statutory management after being taken over by Bank of Uganda, more than Shs12 billion was spent by BoU on lawyers and consultancy fees without following the procedures or any indication that the money was meant to revive the bank.

BoU ran the affairs of Crane Bank for three months (October 2016-January 2017) before they sold it to dfcu at Shs200b.

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