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BoU currency saga: Finance ministry briefs Parliament

Mr. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic
development, briefs Parliament on the BoU investigation. (PHOTO/PML)

KAMPALA – Following a directive by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga last week, ordering the ministry of finance to conclusively explain the currency scandal at Bank of Uganda in one month, Mr. David Bahati has given full account of the saga.

Mr. Bahati, the minister of state for finance, in a statement presented to Parliament also assured the country that several top officials are under investigation and that they since recorded statements at the police’s CID.

He said that Bank of Uganda (BOU) entered into a contract with M/s Oberthur Fiduciaire on 26ft July, 2Ol8 to supply and deliver printed matter and the contract required that the supplier identifies at least two reputable carriers and insurers and advise the Bank of the applicable terms and costs.

In this case, he said that the supplier’s communication indicated full charter for the three options that were provided, from which the Bank selected M/S Kuhne & Nagel to airlift the printed matter to Entebbe International Airport.

Mr. Bahati revealed that in line with the contract, the Bank sent staff to travel to
France to undertake the quality assurance functions of ensuring that the right consignment is loaded on the cargo plane from 22-26 April,2Ol9.

“This activity started at the factory and ended at the nearest international airport where the plane took off for Entebbe” he said.

This website understands that the three BoU officials who supervised the loading of the cargo included Mr. Francis Kaketo regional manager Mbale and Fred Wanyama Assistant regional manager Kabale among others.

The duo was on Friday, June 21 charged with abuse of office and corruption before the Magistrates Court at Kololo presided over by Mr Abert Asiimwe.

Another senior Staff of Bank of Uganda has Tuesday morning been charged before the Anti-corruption court with offenses relating to inclusion of unauthorised cargo aboard an exclusive BOU flight.

Mr. Charles Malinga Akol the Director Currency on Tuesday, separately appeared the same Court where he denied the charges slapped against him.

Prosecution states that Mr. Malinga neglected to perform his duty of contract management between Bank of Uganda and French Company contracted to print when he failed to ensure that the materials supplied were delivered as per the agreed terms.

On arrival to Entebbe International Airport, the minister said, that whereas twenty pallets destined for BOU were received, intact and weil-sealed, the BOU team at the airport noticed five extra cargo pallets on board the chartered plane.

He said this forced Governor Tumusiime Mutebile, to have an investigation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House (ACU), “because the issue involved third parties.”

Ministers statement didn’t reveal owners of the extra pallets.

He said that staffs from the Bank of Uganda are under investigation and have all recorded statements.

“I assure the public that we shall go to the bottom of this matter and the truth
will be known and given to the general public in a timely manner,” he noted adding that there is no indication that this incident will affect the county’s economy negatively especially in terms of inflation.

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