BoU speaks out on transfer of cash from Masaka currency centre

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy Louis Kasekende. The Bank denied allegations of transfer of cash from Masaka currency centre. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Bank of Uganda has dismissed as mere speculation allegations that money went missing from their currency centre in Masaka Town last month.

This website reported on Sunday that;

Police are following a lead that hints at a possible element of concealment of Shs400 billion by senior Bank of Uganda officials during the ongoing investigation into the currency saga.

Highly placed security sources close to the investigation told PML Daily on Saturday evening that the money in question was transferred from BoU headquarters in Kampala to the Central Bank’s currency centre in Kampala on June 14, the same day the investigation into the currency saga started.

But BoU, in a statement issued on July 1 said whereas the money was transferred from the currency centre, it was simply moved from the Old Branch Office on Kampala Road, Masaka to their new building in the same town.

The central bank also explained that movement of currency across their regional branches is a normal procedure as part of its constitutional mandate of “regulating the currency system in the interest of the economic progress of Uganda”.

“BoU as part of its currency processing cycle moves currency stock within the Branch network to optimize vault space in its currency stations and meet the currency demand across the country. Therefore, the movement of stock between Kampala and the upcountry Branches in June 2019 was part of the BoU’s normal currency operations,” the statement reads.

“Furthermore, following the handover of the new building on Katwe Road, Masaka where the new BoU Branch is located, all the Centre’s operations shifted from the Old Branch Office on Kampala Road, Masaka,” the statement adds.

However, in the statement, BoU doesn’t indicate that the transferred money was Shs400b.

This website reported that investigators are intrigued by the fact that the money was transferred to Masaka on the day the investigation into the currency saga started and that the money was stored into Masaka Currency Centre in a room without CCTV cameras.

“We smell something fishy here. This cannot be coincidental,” the source told this website.

The revelation, sources said, implies attempts to conceal a bigger corruption syndicate involving the printing of extra money at BoU.

It also adds controversy as to the amount of money that was said to have been transported to Kampala from Europe after it was printed.

While earlier media reports had indicated that extra money had been brought into the country,  BoU denied this, insisting that the cargo plane had the authorised printed money and other luggage.

With the CCTV cameras switched off in the Masaka currency centre, security sources said the money could have been stolen or misappropriated without trace.

Investigating officers are said to have searched all regional currency centres in vain.

Last Friday, two BoU employees Francis Kakeeto and Fred Wanyama were remanded to Luzira Prison over abuse of office and corruption by the Anti Corruption Court in Kampala.

The duo was denied bail on grounds that their sureties lacked substantial identification documents, according to Grade One Magistrate Abert Assimwe.

According to local online media, Kakeeto, 36 a resident of Nabuti, Mukono and Wanyama, 42 a resident of Seeta, Mukono on April 26, 2019, between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport were assigned by their employer to carry out a pre-shipment inspection of printed materials in France but in abuse of the authority of their offices, did an arbitrary act, prejudicial to the interest of their employer to wit, allowed the inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a cargo plane fully chartered by BoU.

Recently, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit confirmed that they were carrying out an investigation on the central bank over its procurement and supply chain activities.

“A number of senior bank personnel, customs and Civil Authority personnel are being questioned” with regard to the Bank’s procurement and supply chain activities,” she said in a statement.



Copyright@2019: PMLDaily

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