It’s a public secret that the rot at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has exposed the Central Bank to the core.
BoU, with a mandate of ensuring macro-economic stability has a crucial stake in the growth and development of the country. The Central Bank should be largely free of scandals for ‘money hates noise’, but for about two years Bank of Uganda has been hit with true but unbelievable scandals.
It’s against this background that Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the BoU Governor apologised before MPs on the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over uncontrollable leakages of crucial documents from the Central Bank that has painted doubts about the confidentiality of the banking sector regulator.
Mutebile made the emotional apology on Tuesday while appearing before COSASE that is investigating BoU over the controversial closure of seven defunct banks.
He made the apology after MPs wondered why the Central Bank had abused the confidentiality ‘clause’ agreed upon by the two parties to have no documents leaked during the probe into the closure of the seven defunct banks.
Mutebile told the Committee that he isn’t in the know how a letter addressed to COSASE detailing the confidential documents made its way to public and that an investigation was being conducted to have the matter dealt with.
Mutebile expressed his apologies saying the matter was brought to his attention only about 30 minutes before he left his office to come to Parliament for the probe hearing.
“It’s true I signed this letter but this letter was actually not to come to you yet; it was supposed to come to you at the right time during our discussions.” Mutebile said, adding: “Unfortunately, I can only say at this point in time, I have instituted investigations to find out what really happened, I can assure you that I am equally shocked by this occurrence.”
Katuntu wondered how his Committee would be reduced to a social media Committee.
It should be noted that on 28th November 2017, COSASE requested the Auditor General to undertake a special audit on the closure of all Commercial banks by the Central Bank.
After seven months, the special audit report came out, revealing how BoU controversially closed some of the banks.
The seven banks in question include Teefe Bank, International Credit Bank Limited, Greenland Bank, Co-operative Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Global Trust Bank and the most recent Crane Bank Limited.
He told the Committee that he was shocked to read on social media how the Governor had forwarded ‘confidential’ documents to him.
“It is very disappointing that you write to me a letter that is supposed to be forwarding confidential documents and it is on social media before I receive it. I am wondering what is going on in Bank of Uganda.
I thought at the beginning we were serious to each other that everything confidential should be treated in the same way, how do you get confidential letters and documents and release them to social media?” Katuntu wondered.
Another shocker exposing the mess at Bank of Uganda is how former Executive Director Supervision beat off the security at the Central Bank to sneak out key documents about the seven defunct banks.