KAMPALA -Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile has on Friday June 14, confirmed that the central bank is under criminal investigation following a voluntary invitation to the Anti-corruption Unit at State House.
Mr. Mutebile has confirmed he personally requested the Anti-Corruption Unit at State House to investigate an unusual transaction.
This follows a major anomaly which was discovered during the verification process of a consignment that the BoU received on 27 April, the Governor said.
In a statement dated June 14, 2019, the BoU Governor revealed that he blew the whistle to the Anti-Corruption Unit of the State House, headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema to investigate the discrepancies in printing and transportation of some billions of Uganda shilling bills.
Earlier on, Lt. Col Edith Nakalema had confirmed that a major investigation into the affairs of Bank of Uganda is underway and collaborated that Governor Mutebile blew the whistle on the erratic bank officials.
She said they are investigating a procurement consignment that made its way into the country recently.
“The matter under investigation involves a recent procurement consignment,” Col. Nakalema wrote.
In a statement, issued Friday June 14, Col. Nakalema also indicates that the investigation initiated by her team was looking into the conduct of a number of senior Central bank officials and those in the customs and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in relation to discrepancies in printing and transportation of some billions of Uganda shilling bills.
The Police Criminal Investigations Director Grace Akullo is leading the investigation which Col. Nakalema says is pertaining the banks’ “procurement and supply chain activities”.
“The State House Anti-Corruption Unit acting on article 99 (4) of the Constitution of Uganda in liaison with the Criminal Investigations Directorate of Police acting under article 129 (3) a(a) and in conjunction with Bank of Uganda Is carrying out special investigations on a matter pertaining the banks’ procurement and supply chain activities,” Col. Nakalema wrote.
More than a dozen plain-clothed officers descended on the bank premises on Thursday, arresting officials in “conjunction with the Governor’s office”.
The arrests were made on an invitation of Central bank Governor Tumusiime Mutebile after reports that officials headed by Dr. Barenzi, the Deputy Director who represented Charles Malinga Akol, BoU’s Executive Director Operations had allegedly ordered for printing of over UGX 90 billion in excesses ‘without his knowledge’.
“The matter under investigation involves a recent procurement consignment,” Col. Nakalema said.
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the BoU officials were being questioned on suspicion of “criminal mismanagement” and money laundering.
He said the timing of the operation was deliberately coordinated with the arrests on an invitation by the Governor “to avoid any possible collusion” between suspects and because a large number of those involved in the scam were present at the bank.
Mr. Opondo said the president after learning about the gravity of the matter authorized Col. Nakalema to raid the bank and bring the culprits to book.
“The president was fully briefed about everything because this is a serious matter,” Mr. Opondo said.