COSASE issues fresh summons for Justine Bagyenda after she snubbed their meetings

Parliament has issued afresh summons for former Bank of Uganda Director Supervision, Justine Bagyenda after she snubbed the Cosase committee on Friday.

The Cooperator has established that Bagyenda flew out of the country and she reportedly handed in a written document addressed to the Governor Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile and copied to the Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende and Hon. Abdu Katuntu, the Cosase chairperson.

Mrs. Bagyenda in the letter dated November 22, 2018, said she was going to attend to some engagements that she says were confirmed before Cosase invited her to give her side of the story in the sale of the banks. “This is to inform you that I will be out of the country from the evening of 22nd November 2018, to attend to some engagements which I have confirmed I had confirmed before receipt of your letter…dated 19/11/2018 regarding COSASE meeting,” the letter reads.

The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), chaired by Bugweri County Member of Parliament, Hon. Abdu Katuntu ordered that Bagyenda returns to Parliament on Tuesday next week with all the documents, or face arrest.

The committee had earlier on Thursday rejected the liquidation documents submitted by Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials, pertaining to the closure of the defunct banks.

On 21 November 2018, Hon. Katuntu directed the officials representing the Central Bank, Mr. Benedict Ssekabira (Financial Markets Development Coordinator), Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi, (Executive Director for Bank Supervision), and former employees, Mrs. Justine Bagyenda (the former Executive Director for Bank Supervision), Mrs. Margaret Matovu and Mr. Apollo Obbo to submit by 22 November 2018, comprehensive liquidation documents for the closed banks, including the appointment letter of Mr. Ssekabira, as liquidator for the banks.

Mr. Ssekabira had said on 21 November, that he did not know the whereabouts of his appointment letter but he would check with the bank.

However, while appearing before the Committee on 22 November 2018, the BoU team was asked by the chairman to withdraw their documents, on grounds that they did not meet the expectations of the Committee.

While she appeared on November 22, Bagyenda in her defense said the required reports are available at BoU. “When you look at the handover report, you will see files of closed banks,” she said.  “The files have all the information on closed banks. It might be a presentation issue to discover reports from a liquidator but when you go through each closed bank, all the information is there,” Mrs. Bagyenda added.

It is upon this submission that Hon. Katuntu directed Dr. Twinemanzi to produce all files regarding Greenland Bank on 23 November 2018. He said the files for Greenland will be used to establish the case for Uganda Cooperative Bank (UCB) and International Credit Bank (ICB).

The Vice Chairperson of COSASE, Hon. Anita Among directed Mr. Ssekabira to avail liquidator appointment letters for the other banks, as he had only submitted for Greenland Bank.

COSASE is probing the irregular closure of; Greenland Bank, Uganda Cooperative Bank (UCB), International Credit Bank (ICB), Crane Bank, Global Trust Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Teffe Bank.

The appointed liquidator, Mr. Ssekabira said he had handed the reports to his then line supervisors, Mrs. Justine Bagyenda, Mrs. Margaret Matovu and Mr. Apollo Obbo who supervised the sale of the assets of the defunct banks, at the time.

However, Mrs. Matovu has admitted that although she received the documents from Mr. Ssekabira, she did not hand them over at her time of departure.

It thus emerged on Friday that Ssekabira had no appointment letter, much as Bagyenda drafted his terms of reference. The committee also heard that the Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende approved Ssekabira’s appointment.

Ssekabira on Friday read out something from a memo appointing him but this didn’t convince the committee that ordered for fresh documents.

“She must appear on Tuesday or face arrest,” said Katuntu. The MPs were pushing arrest warrant through Interpol

The Committee directed that Criminal investigations department confirms with immigration whether Bagyenda traveled or she is hiding in her house

Upon receipt of Mrs. Bagyenda’s letter, the committee members were furious, prompting Mr. Katuntu to issue the fresh summons requiring her to appear next week on Tuesday without fail or face arrest.

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