KAMPALA – Central Bank Governor, Emmanuel Mutebile, has denied ever delegating his powers to the former Executive Director Supervision, Justine Bagyenda to enter into an agreement with Dfcu for the sale of Global Trust Bank.
Mr Mutebile made the stunning declarations on Friday during the probe into the closure of the seven defunct banks by Bank of Uganda. at a hearing by Mr Abdu Katunu, the Chairman of the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), asked the Governor if he delegated his constitutional powers to allow Ms Bagyenda to commit the Central Bank into a NonDisclosure Agreement with Dfcu. The Governor flatly denied doing so.
Abdu Katuntu, COSASE Chairperson asked, “Did she (Bagyenda) have authority to commit the Bank under the law? Was the Non-Disclosure Agreement properly signed under the law? Who has got powers under the legal regime to enter into contractual obligations of the bank?”
Margaret Kagwa, Legal Counsel, Bank of Uganda told the Committee that for documents that aren’t under seal, there can be authorization for any other person to sign from the offices of the Governor and Deputy or the person authorized to do so by those offices.
However, Katuntu rejected the explanation tasking Kagwa to reveal which documents are supposed to be under seal and reminded her that the position of Governor was created in the 1995 Constitution yet the Bank of Uganda Act was passed in 1993 and there is no way the Bank of Uganda Act can delegate functions of a constitutional office?
Katuntu said: “These are your (Mutebile) powers, if your staff is going to start exercising your powers under circumstances which aren’t known, there is a problem. The Constitution vested these powers only to the Governor, if it intended to have it delegated, it should have said so explicitly. If you take that interpretation you are going to have many Governors and Deputy Governors. I hope that isn’t the case, someone thinking she can be Governor.”
“Let the Bank of Uganda leave this boardroom powers invested in Governor aren’t casually transferred to another person. The law Legal Counsel is citing came before Constitution. We never make these laws in vain but to protect the persons in these offices, otherwise, people will start masquerading as Governors and they are comminuting you and the country,” Katuntu added.
Katuntu also asked, “Was Bagyenda authorized in your absence into committing the Bank into this Non-Disclosure Agreement with Dfcu? to which Mutebile replied No.
Moses Kasibante protested Mutebile’s response noting, “I must thank him for the bold answer. If somebody commits Bank of Uganda without his knowledge and consent isn’t some incompetence on his part?
Still, Mutebile denied being incompetent and soon, Kasibante shifted to Bagyenda asking her to reveal where she got the authority to enter into agreement with Dfcu where she revealed confidential information on Global Trust Bank to its competitor, Dfcu.
Bagyenda said: “This question should be answered by legal counsel who drafted and passed on the NDA.”