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Bagyenda: Old Age Forced Me To Retire From My BoU Job

Embattled former Executive Director Supervision at Bank of Uganda (BoU), Justine Bagyenda has shockingly revealed that she painfully left her juicy job at the Central Bank because of old age.

She made the remarks Monday while appearing before the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is probing BoU officials over the controversial closure of seven defunct banks.

Bagyenda, who was at the centre of supervising commercial banks for many years, has left Committee members shocked by the way she answers questions.

“I don’t remember,” is often Bagyenda’s response to many questions posed by MPs.

When asked how outgoing dfcu bank Managing Director, Juma Kisaame came to attend a meeting to discuss the sale of Global Trust bank, Bagyenda revealed that she invited him through a phone call, a statement that attracted shock from the Committee.

Katuntu wondered how a full Executive Director Supervision would invite a prospective buyer, casually on phone.

Asked about other BoU staff that attended the meeting, Bagyenda said she didn’t recall the other staff that attended the negotiation meetings since she retired not because of being young, but because she was getting old.

However, Anita Among, Vice Chairperson COSASE rejected Bagyenda’s analogy firing back: “We shouldn’t allow this impunity in the name of being old. To the best of our knowledge, you didn’t even want to leave office. You can’t keep saying I am old.”

 

 

COSASE Chairperson,  Abdu Katuntu blamed Bagyenda and her partner in negotiating the sale of some of the closed banks, Benedict Ssekabira, Director Financial Markets  at BoU for causing a crisis at bank of Uganda.

Katuntu faulted the duo for selling National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank without taking a record of the negotiation minutes.

This was after Mackey Owumu, Director National Payment Systems and Timothy Kajja, Deputy Director Banking denied taking part in negotiations leading to the sale of Global Trust Bank.

After the two denied ever taking part in the negotiations, Bagyenda defended herself saying she was given their names by officials from Bank of Uganda, after admitting she only recalled attending negotiation meetings with Ssekabira because she is too old to recall what transpired and that is the reason she resigned from the Central Bank.

However, Katuntu rejected her explanation.

“It shouldn’t be an excuse. The names came from Bank of Uganda; it didn’t come from the Committee. If you had told us from the beginning, we shouldn’t have wasted time interrogating others,” Katuntu said.

When asked how long negotiations lasted leading to the sale of Global Trust bank, Bagyenda feigned ignorance saying she doesn’t recall the time it took to negotiate and asked to cross check with Bank records, saying all she knows is that Global Trust never closed in one day.

Katuntu warned Governor of the crisis awaiting the Central bank if the Central bank staff don’t have the records and will only resort to saying they don’t remember.

“You see the crisis you have caused this nation, the two of you. Now we have to rely on brains. The problem is that when people retire, they retire with information of the institution and that shouldn’t happen under any circumstances ever,” Katuntu said.

He added: “You have new ED; if you tell him how to resolve a bank, he doesn’t know and this is a central Bank. Selling a bank is complicated issue, you can’t sell a bank like selling a goat, you need to have records.”

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