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CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BoU Officials Implicated In Buying Assets Of Closed Banks

mmanuel-Tumusiime Mutebile

The Bank of Uganda woes continues to deepen. The latest is that the Committee of Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is investigating into the possibility that some of the staff at the Central Bank who had been hired to oversee the liquidation of some of the closed Banks are the very people that bought the assets in question.

Interfacing with BoU officials on Tuesday, Mbarara Municipality MP, Michael Tusiime tabled a letter written and signed by Benedict Ssekabira, the Director Financial Markets and Development Coordination at BoU  on behalf of Nile River Acquisition Company on the loan portfolio of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank and Cooperative Bank yet  the Central Bank had designated Ssekabira as the liquidation agent to oversee the sale of the loan portfolio.

The loan portfolio under contention was over Shs135bn but Bank of Uganda sold them at Shs8bn to Nile River Acquisition Company, which was said to be based in Mauritius. This indicates a 93% discount.

Tusiime wondered how the agent of the liquidator who was paid for liquidation took part in identifying the buyer- the Nile River Acquisition.

COSASE Chairperson, Abdu Katuntu wondered how such a mess could have taken place at an institution like BoU.

“Governor I don’t know if you see the predicament you are in, this doesn’t look tiny. I can’t understand how a Bank of Uganda officer can be an agent of Nile River Acquisition,” Katuntu said.

He added: “He was hired by BoU to do the exit strategy; these documents show that he is eventually the buyer of the portfolio. He is signing on behalf of Nile River. He ceased being consultant. This is something that needs to be interrogated.”

Another person that is said to have benefited from the loan portfolio is said to have been one of the consultants of J N Kirkland Associates, Kakembo Katende.

 

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