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Mutebile in no-show at Parliament as businessman demands UGX20b over closure of Cooperative Bank

Emmanuel Mutebile, the Central Bank boss appearing before Parliamentary COSASE recently (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile on Thursday, September 12, did not show up for a meeting with Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) to defend himself in a case in which a businessman is seeking Shs20 billion as compensation for lost property during the closure of Cooperative Bank in 1999.

In a written letter to COSASE, Mr Mutebile asked for more time to get information to defend himself the case in which a businessman wants Shs 20 billion as compensation for lost property during the closure of Cooperative Bank in 1999.

The businessman, Mr Chris Tushabe Karobwa, has accused the Governor of lying to Parliament so that Bank of Uganda (BoU) does not pay UGX20 billion the former is demanding from the Central Bank as compensation over the closure of Cooperative Bank.

Parliament is investigating allegations that BoU mismanaged properties of Mr Tushabe worth UGX1.42b which he had mortgaged in Cooperative Bank before it was closed and liquidated in 1999.

On August 29, Mr Mutebile told COSASE that Mr Tushabe’s demands, which included Shs761.3m for missing Bank Account documents; Shs600m for missing overdraft which he was forced to pay in cash; and, Shs3b that was on his account before Cooperative bank closure, were unrealistic.

However, on Tuesday Mr Tushabe wrote to COSASE, accusing the governor of lying on oath.

“My claim of Shs3b is about the “Voice Line Facility” which the Governor knows very well. More than Shs3b of my money was transferred from Kasese and kept by the bank at the Head Office, Kampala for safe and easier business transactions because the bank was not yet computerized” Mr Tushabe wrote.

The businessman has also contested the Governor’s explanation that the Bank has not released his property in Kasese because he remains indebted to Cooperative Bank to date.

“Regarding the release of his property in Kasese, it should be noted that Mr Tushabe is still indebted to Cooperative Bank. As at March 31, 2019, his indebtedness stood at Shs51,056,602. This sum is exclusive of the costs awarded to Cooperative Bank in the Court of Appeal which we estimate to be over Shs50m” the Governor wrote.

He has also accused Mr Mutebile of lying to COSASE that BoU did not force him to pay Shs600m for an overdraft the Cooperative Bank had given him before it is closure.

He has written that during the hearing of Civil Suit No.815 of 2000, BoU admitted that he never used the overdraft because “it was swallowed up by wrongful entries visited onto my account by bank officials”.

Mr Mutebile returns to Parliament on Thursday to respond to other allegations made against the Central Bank by Mr Tushabe.

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