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BoU saga, state asks for 3 weeks to conclude with investigations

BoU Governor, Tumusiime Mutebile appearing before COSASE in May last year. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – The state has asked for three more weeks to conclude with investigations in the case in which three Bank of Uganda staff who are charged with offenses relating to inclusion of unauthorized cargo abode a chartered plane carrying BOU material.

Prosecution led by Ms Carolyine Tabaro told Anti-corruption court that was presided over by grade one magistrate Mr Ebert Asiimwe that she was unable to adduce witnesses against the three officials at the moment because police investigations are still underway.

The 3 officials under investigation are;  The director of currency in Bank of Uganda Charles Akol Malinga who is said to have failed to ensure that the terms of a contract signed between the Bank and a French money printing company Oberthur Fudicaire to deliver printed material was well executed.

The prosecution says Malinga had been assigned a duty of contract manager to oversee the entire contract.

Malinga is jointly charged with Francis Kakeekto and Fred Vito Wayama who are accsued of failing to failing to report the inclusion of extra -cargo on the BOU plane.

Each of the 3 men, however, denied the charges against them and have since been granted bail.

The group through their lawyers complained to the magistrate that their right to communication is being violated by police which seized their mobile phones on arrest.

The magistrate ordered the prosecution to follow up their complaint before court intervenes.

According to the charges sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita, the duo was assigned by their employer (BOU) to carry out pre-shipment inspection of printed currency in France but in abuse of their respective offices allowed the inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a chartered plane.

In the alternative, the three suspects are facing a charge of corruption in which they are said to have corruptly neglected to perform their duties by failing to report unauthorized cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.

Prosecution states that the three allegedly committed the offenses on April 26, 2019, between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

The arrest of the trio followed a complaint registered by Governor Bank of Uganda Emmanuel Mutebile to state house Anti-corruption unit after he became suspicious of extra cargo that entered the country abode a chartered BOU plane that was carrying printed material.

Reports indicate that the plane landed at Entebbe International Airport on April 27, 2019, and was cleared by URA officials in the presence of Bank of Uganda officials and Aviation security.

However, according to a statement from Bank of Uganda, the chartered plane had to carry 20pallets instead of 25.

The alleged anomaly was detected during the verification of the consignment hence the commencement of investigations which have so far revealed that the extra cargo belongs to powerful businessmen in the country and organisations.

A joint investigation between CID and State House Anti-corruption unit has so far led to the arrest of a number Bank of Uganda officials.

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