KAMPALA – MPs on the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises will on Thursday resume the inquiry into irregularities in the closure of seven commercial banks, with several bank officials facing the spotlight.
Deputy governor Dr. Louis Kasekende faces the spotlight after it emerged he wrote to potential investors before Crane Bank was controversially sold to dfcu Bank at a paltry Shs 200 million.
Apart from the inquiry into the sale of seven banks, members on the COSASE have vowed seek answers after disturbing details that Dr. Kasekende, one of the 8 central bank officials in the spotlight offered insider information to potential investors about the sale of Crane Bank while the central bank and Crane Bank’s majority shareholder, business mogul Sudhir Ruparelia, were still in negotiations.
The investor in question, Patrick Ho, allegedly paid Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa $500,000 as part of a plot to advance his Chinese firm’s business interests in Africa, specifically Uganda’s energy and financial sectors.
Documents from the American agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), indicate that Kutesa’s wife, Edith Kutesa, was helping Ho in acquiring a Ugandan commercial bank. The bank has since been identified as Crane Bank, which BoU later sold to DFCU Bank. This evidence has been forwarded to the committee which resumes hearing on Thursday.
Mr. Benedict Sekabira, the Director Financial Markets Development Coordination (FMDC) is another top bank official that will face the wrath of MPs for his role especially in the closure of Teefe bank.
The others are senior bank officials, Timothy Sekirayi, Grace Ndyareeba, Margaret Kasule, Titus Mulindwa, William Kasozi and Justine Bagyenda who has since retired from the central bank under a cloud.
The MP’s inquiry is also focusing on the mismanagement of closed banks by BoU after the Auditor General Mr John Muwanga issued a stinging criticism of the central bank in a special audit that cited massive flaws in the closure of Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and the sale of Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) to dfcu (2016). All the former directors of the above-closed banks will also be cross-examined by the committee.