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Tycoon Mbire explains how his cargo ended up on BoU currency plane

Businessman Charles Mbire with President Museveni on the sidelines of the AfricaNow summit in Munyonyo, Kampala recently. The businessman has explained how his cargo ended up on BoU currency plane (PPU PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Businessman Charles Mbire has explained the circumstances under which his consignment found its way on what should have been a top-security exclusive Bank of Uganda flight.

Mr. Mbire has also denied knowledge of importation of currency cargo by Bank of Uganda as alleged by sections of the public including Uganda police and bashed the media over what he termed as unfair and innuendo headlines about him.

Through his attorneys Sebalu & Lule Advocates, the businessman released a statement on Thursday, June 20, 2019 and clarified that the sole reason as to why his cargo was transported on BoU plane is that his consignment contained hazardous and flammable materials, and reasons that it was unsafe for the package to be transported using normal delivery channels.

The statement noted that Mr. Mbire purchased adhesives, paint related material and spare parts for his boast while in London, England and that the entire package (weighing 28klogrammes) was handed over to Nexus Cargo Handling Limited – a cargo handling company in Middlesex, London.

“Arrangements were to be made for the transportation of our client’s package to Entebbe Uganda, under air waybill number 574-32534305,” his legal team wrote clarifying that the sole reason as to why special case delivery had to be made for “our client’s adhesive material is classified as hazardous”.

Mr. Mbire has strongly rejected any claims that he was privy to any contractual arrangements between  the cargo handler in England and the logistics company, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, a global transport and logistics company based in Schindellegi, Switzerland is the transporter hired by Oberthur Fiduciaire to transport the BoU currency  and his cargo to Uganda.

“In addition, our client was not privy to contractual arrangements between the Bank of Uganda and the logistics company for the delivery of the central Banks’ currency cargo,” Sebalu & Lule Advocates clarified adding that his package of only 28 kilograms was the smallest consignment on the plane.

On Wednesday, French currency minter, Oberthur Fiduciaire, a company contracted by BoU to print and deliver an unspecified amount of UGX banknotes to the country gave their own account, detailing circumstances surrounding the delivery of the currency cargo shipments, entirely dismissing claims that there was any extra money printed.

Mr. Mbire, and some of the organisations/entities including Omar Mandela’s Mandela Millers Ltd and a number of UN agencies as well as USAID, Ministry of Health.

Other private businesses have also been named by authorities as having had cargo on the said plane.

A statement by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on weekend said that the 5 extra cargo pallets contained other consignments which belonged to various individuals/companies/ organizations.

Others entities including UN agencies have since entirely dismissed the accusations.

“As per normal customs clearance procedure, this cargo was offloaded into the licensed bonds at the airport and subsequently the owners made customs declarations, paid applicable taxes and Customs physically verified each consignment to ascertain accuracy and consistency with the declaration and released the goods to the owners,” read a statement by Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Customs Commissioner.

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