Bou currency saga: Bailed officials leave office

Saturday June 29 2019

Prison warders escort Bank of Ugan

Prison warders escort Bank of Uganda officials Francis Kakeeto (2nd left), Fred Vito Wanyama (centre), and Mr Charles Malinga, the director of currency, at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo in Kampala yesterday. 

By URN

Three Bank of Uganda (BoU) employees charged in the anti-corruption court over a currency procurement scandal, have taken leave from office in line with the public service rules that require a public servant who is under investigation to briefly step aside.

The three officials are the Director of Currency Director, Mr Charles Malinga Akol, Mr Francis Kakeeto, the Assistant Currency Director Bank of Uganda Mbale Branch and Mr Fred Vito Wanyama, the verification officer.

They were charged in the relation to the reported extra currency that BoU brought into the country from France in April.

BoU governor, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said the investigation was in relation to a consignment that the Central Bank received on April 27.

“During the verification process, BOU staff reported an anomaly in the inventory of the expected consignment,” Mr Mutebile stated early this month.

Latest details show that the problem was with the chartered plane that was supposed to carry only BoU cargo but carried five extra pallets whose origin was reportedly not known by the bank.

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 BoU was reportedly aware of only knew 20 pallets.

On Tuesday, the officials who were charged with abuse of office and corruption were granted bail until August 2, 2019, when they will return to the Anti-Corruption Ccourt for the hearing of their case.

Ms Charity Mugumya, the BoU spokesperson, says the officials   are not in office. 

Another official at BoU said that the institution follows public service rules that call for interdiction of the officials in question. The affected officials have not been to their offices since Wednesday.

According to Public Service Standing Orders, charges against the affected officials are supposed to nbe investigated expeditiously and their case concluded within three months.

 Ms Mary Katarikawe, the BoU operations director, told reporters last week that the central bank wants to know what exactly was contained in the extra cargo and how it got to the chartered plane, putting the genuine BoU cargo at risk.

Oberthur Fiduciare, the company contracted by Bank of Uganda to print Ugandan currency, has reportedly offered to compensate the central bank for the extra pallets that were irregularly loaded onto the chartered currency plane.  

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