The committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has learnt with shock that former Executive Director in charge of Supervision at Bank of Uganda, Justine Bagyenda reportedly took a sole decision to sell Global Trust Bank (GTB) to dfcu bank in 2014.
COSASE is currently probing BoU officials over the controversial closure of seven banks.
During Thursday’s probe, Bagyenda said the decision to sell GTB to dfcu was taken by the management of the bank and approved by BoU board.
However, when COSASE Chairperson, Abdu Katuntu asked BoU Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile Mutebile about the same, he denied being in the know and the Secretary Board said the issue did not appear in the meetings.
It also emerged that Bagyenda first shared confidential information regarding GTB with the competitor-Dfcu before eventually selling it to them two hours after the embattled Bank was closed.
The Committee leant that on July 10, 2014, Bagyenda and Dfcu outgoing Managing Director, Juma Kisaame signed a Confidential agreement where she reportedly disclosed the financial standing of Global Trust Bank, contrary to Bank of Uganda Act that stipulates secrecy and confidentiality of information regarding other Banks.
“Did you have consent from Global Trust Bank whose information you were disclosing? And why did you disclose affairs of a financial institution with another bank in contravention with Bank of Uganda Act to unauthorized people?” Medard Sseggona, Busiro East asked.
However, Bagyenda did not have answers to the MPs’ questions.
“Is it true that you’re the only officer who signed this document [selling GTB]?” Katuntu asked Bagyenda, who responded in affirmative.
She added that whereas she did not consult the governor to that effect, the legal counsel, BoU were in the know and she assumed they had consulted the governor.
“My signing on this document was based on the practice that all legal documents go through Governor’s office and the Board. I have never taken a single decision to close a bank that is never drawn by legal counsel. I assumed that they did all the necessary consultations [with the Governor],” Bagyenda said.
According to the Bank of Uganda Act, it is only the Governor, Deputy Governor witnessed by the Secretary to the Board who can authorize closure and sale of a Bank.