By Andrew Irumba
The Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is probing the closure of seven commercial banks has disclosed that it’s instituting an investigation into Bank of Uganda (BoU) directors’ wealth to ascertain whether their current financial position rhymes with their monthly earnings.
And one among those will be the deputy Governor, Dr.Louis Kasekende.
Kasekende will be investigated by a special sub-committee. This after Aruu South County MP Hon.Odonga Otto tabled documents showing 72 land titles of prime plots said to be owned by him in Kampala and Wakiso, but some have been suspiciously transferred into his driver’s names Mr.Moses Musitwa.
Mr Otto also tabled declaration forms indicating that Mr Kasekende submitted to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) only six properties during the assets declaration before the ombudsman.
The directors, however, have not been accused of any wrongdoing. And at the moment, there is no evidence that the properties being investigated were illegally acquired.
The revelations about Kasekende and Bagyenda’s wealth triggered a heated debate in the committee as MPs rejected attempts by the inquiry chairman, Mr Abdu Katuntu, to have the titles only tabled before a sub-committee.
Tensions were only defused after the committee retired into a closed-door meeting and resolved to allow Mr Otto table his documents but not to divulge details about the properties.
Mr Otto also tabled bank statements detailing the transfer of $1m (about Shs3.7b) to Ms Edith Kasekende’s account by a Chinese firm, Shs1.9b from MMAKS Advocates and $71,000 (Shs262 million) that was wired to Kasekende’s account by Tororo District Local Government.
“What is of interest to me is the transfer of $1m (Shs3.7 billion) to Ms Edith Kasekende’s account by China Railway Group. China Railway Group is the company that constructed the BoU currency centre. The committee should pick interest,” Mr Otto said.
Some of the properties, Mr Otto told the Committee, were transferred by Mr Kasekende to the ownership of his driver Mr.Moses Musitwa.
He said some of the acquired properties are linked to a finding by the Auditor General that discovered that BoU sold assets worth Shs164b of five closed commercial banks at a discount of 80 per cent yielding only Shs32b. “These people were closing banks to enrich themselves. The public has to know the motivation of some people to close banks.
The Ministry of Lands authenticated the documents by giving a search certificate detailing that these 16 properties are in your names,” Mr Otto charged at Kasekende.
A sub-committee chaired by Bukedea District Woman MP Anita Among, army MP Brig Francis Takirwa and Kiruhura District Woman MP Sheila Mwine will investigate the land titles and present a report on Tuesday to the committee for further discussion.
Committee Bemused By Filthy Bagyenda’s Wealth, Exposed:
On a separately turn of events, Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa also tabled seven land titles belonging to former director for commercial banks supervision Ms.Justine Bagyenda in prime areas in Central and Nakawa divisions in Kampala.
The investigation into the closure of seven commercial banks has hit roof tops as MPs started on inquiries into the 2016 closure of Crane Bank, a commercial bank that had been consistently given a clean bill of health by the central bank before the surprise closure.
The closed banks include; 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 Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) that was sold to dfcu in 2016.