Members of parliament sitting on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) are in shock after one of the persons of interest in an investigation into activities of Central Bank, also former Central Bank Executive Director Supervision Justine Bagyenda flee the country without their knowledge.
The committee is investigating the closure and sale of commercial banks by Bank of Uganda.
The COSASE Chairperson Abdu Katuntu, told members that he received a letter this morning informing him that Bagyenda had flown abroad to attend to some engagements, which she confirmed long before the probe. He however was uncomfortable with the move as the same person appeared before the legislators on Thursday but did not say a thing about the travel arrangements.
In the November 22, 2018 letter, Bagyenda does not specify which country travelled to, neither does she indicate the purpose of travel or when she is expected back in the country. There is fear that she may not return.
Bagyenda is supposed to clarify whether or not quarterly progressive reports on the liquidation of assets of closed banks were filed and their whereabouts as raised in the 2017 forensic audit report in which the Auditor General pointed out irregularities in the sale of commercial banks since 1993.
The report is said to have reviewed the activities in relation to the sale of Teefe Trust Bank, International Credit Bank Ltd, Greenland Bank, Uganda Co-operative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Ltd.
In the report, Auditor General queried the absence of asset movement schedules or ledgers indicating the bank assets at closure, the assets sold and their selling price, as well as performing and nonperforming loans.
On Thursday, the committee chairperson hon. Katuntu was forced to invoke parliament’s powers of the High Court and summoned all documents handed over by Bagyenda to the current Executive Director Supervision Tumubweine Twinemanzi, particularly the details relating to the sale of assets of Greenland Bank which was shutdown in 1999.
During today’s meeting, the Auditor General revealed that the progressive reports on Greenland bank are missing in Bagyenda's handover files, despite her insistence that she had handed over the reports to her successor.
Her absence from the committee today implied that the committee could not proceed with its investigations as planned. Committee Chairman Abdul Katuntu ruled that Bagyenda's attendance was of critical importance that his committee cannot afford to proceed with the process without her.