By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Prof. Emmanuel Tumsiime Mutebile, the governor Bank of Uganda, on Thursday snubbed a scheduled appearance before Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Mutebile’s appearance before the COSASE was meant to give him an opportunity to defend himself in a case in which a city businessman is seeking Shs20Bn as compensation for lost property during the closure of Cooperative Bank in 1999 by Bank of Uganda.
However, the legislators waited for Mutebile to show up in vain. He instead sent them a letter asking for more time to get information to defend himself in the case before COSASE.
According to the said case, Chris Tushabe Karobwa, a city businessman, accused Mutebile of allegedly lying to Parliament so that BoU does not pay Shs20Bn he (Tushabe) is demanding from BoU as compensation following the closure of Cooperative Bank.
COSASE is conducting investigations into allegations that BoU mismanaged Tushabe’s properties of worth Shs1.42Bn which he had mortgaged in Cooperative Bank before it was closed and liquidated in 1999 by BoU.
However, on August 29, Mutebile told COSASE that 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, Shs3Bn that was on his account before Cooperative bank closure, were unrealistic.
However, on Tuesday Tushabe wrote to COSASE, accusing the governor of lying on oath.
Tushabe stated that “My claim of Shs3bBn is about the “Voice Line Facility” which the Governor knows very well. More than Shs3Bn 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.”
He also refuted Mutebile’s explanation that the BoU has released his property in Kasese because he remains indebted to Cooperative Bank to date.
Mutebile initially wrote to COSASE that “Regarding the release of his property in Kasese, it should be noted that 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.”
However, Tushabe accused Mutebile of allegedly 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 wrote 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 his account by bank officials”.
Although Mutebile did not appear at Parliament as expected, he is set to return next Thursday to respond to Tushabe’s accusations and other matters being investigated by COSASE concerning BoU.