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Youth activists launch campaign to expose the corrupt after DPP, police and IGG went silent

Mr. Sekabira, and other top officials at BoU were pinned by some of the key findings and recommendations of the report by Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State enterprises in regard to the closed defunct banks and disposal of their assets.

Sekabira

Bernard Sekabira, the Director of Financial Markets at Bank of Uganda (PHOTO/File).

A group of youth in Kampala have decided to take on the President Museveni administration on corruption— launching a public campaign dubbed #MyHandsAreClean, to highlight the dubious deals in government and all corrupt officials.

They say most of government institutions charged with the mandate to halt the practice have been highly infiltrated hence, taking matters into their own hands.

The initiative by a coalition of several youth activist groups including The Uganda poor youth movement, Sauti ya Vijana, Red Top Brigade, Youth Power Research Uganda among others intends to corner President Museveni and his administration on the Parliament’s Cosase report that was presented to the House in November 2019 where Parliament recommended that the Central Bank officials involved in the sale of loan portfolios for the seven defunct banks be held liable and punished accordingly.

Zahid Ssempala, the coalition’s national coordinator said the campaign will expose and fight corruption so as to save tax payers’ monies and bring those involved in same to book.

“The youth activist forums have been taken aback by the rampant and increasing corruption scandals where the perpetrators have seemingly avoided being brought to book by use of their connections to the respective government offices which are meant to investigate and charge them or by virtue of being powerful and untouchables,” Ssempala told journalists in Kampala.

Mzee Julius Bwanika, the group’s publicity secretary  threatened to invoke the avenues under the Global Magnistky Act and have financial and travel sanctions imposed a number of government officials and their families involved in corruption.

Development three weeks after the Director of Public Prosecutions sanctioned charges against top central bank officials following the findings of a Parliamentary inquiry into the closure and sale of seven commercial banks, the police is yet to act on the orders.

Mr Bernard Ssekabira,  the Director of Financial Markets at Bank of Uganda, was the first official to be summoned by the police Criminal Investigations Directorate to face trial in relation to the disposal of assets of some of the 7 banks whose sale was investigated by Parliament.

“This  is to inform you that the Director public Prosecutions  sanctioned the matter for the suspect to appear in Court and the purpose of this communication is to request you release Mr. Benedict Sekabira to report at CID headquarters on July 30, 2020,  such that he can be produced in court for the charges of concealing title deeds under Sections 278 of the Penal Code,” a July 27 letter from CID Headquarters to Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile reads.

Mr Sekabira, is yet to report to police and the CID has not taken action.

Days after the DPP indicted Mr. Sekabira, it later emerged that former Executive Director for Supervision Justine Bagyenda too was facing the music.

The DPP asked police to arrest and search the homes of both Sekabira and Ms Bagyenda, saying evidence on the record indicated they were involved in fraudulent transfer of certificate of tittles belonging to the former clients of defunct banks.

In a letter dated July 7 to CID boss Grace Akullo, the DPP sanctioned the arrest and seizure of all relevant documents belonging to Ms. Bagyenda on obtaining a court order.

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“Obtain a Court Order to search and seize all relevant documents, computers from offices and or homes of the suspects for and useful pieces of evidence since they have refused to cooperate,” the DPP wrote also directing the CID to obtain and retrieve all documents detailing all transactions between River Acquisition and SIL Investment Limited and all statements from the former Deputy Governor  Dr.  Louis Kasekende

“The Auditor General should be asked to carry out a specific forensic audit to establish whether or not the continued charging of interest on loans when the banks are in liquidation is irregular since the banking business stops at the time of closure. Provide a list of loan portfolios demanded by Bank of Uganda from respective borrowers of the defunct banks in its capacity as the liquidator before Nile River Acquisition Limited took over and retrieve certified copies of certificates of title complained of as of from Commissioner Land Registration, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. This is aimed at establishing the current position of the titles,” the DPP whose focus is on the relationship between the two Central Bank officials and the three  companies involved the transactions belonging to seven commercial bank wrote.

The companies and personalities in the spotlight include Kakembo Katende and all his associates/partners trading as Ms Kirkland Associates, Nanyonga Evelyn and all her co-Directors in SIL Investment Limited and the coordinators of the defunct Banks in liquidation Mr. Ben Sekabira together with Polly K. Ndyarugahi his co-coordinator and Octavian Advisors and other Bank of Uganda associates.

Mr. Sekabira, and other top officials at BoU were pinned by some of the key findings and recommendations of the report by Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State enterprises in regard to the closed defunct banks and disposal of their assets.

The COSASE report that was presented to the House in November 2019 and adopted by Parliament recommended that the central bank officials involved in the sale of loan portfolios for the five defunct banks be held liable.

Justine Bagyenda

Embattle former Bank of Uganda Director of Supervision, Ms Justine Bagyenda (PHOTO/File).

The Banks include Green land bank, Global Trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, Crane Bank and National Bank of Commerce.

The report pinned Mr. Sekabira and former Executive Director Bank supervision Justine Bagyenda as people who had a conflict of interest in the transaction.

The MPs on COSASE probing banks then had during the probe, tasked Mr. Sekabira, who became a controversial figure to prove that he had been properly appointed as liquidator of the banks.

Mr Sekabira later failed to produce the inventory reports on the closed banks but told MPs he had submitted them to three former BoU officials including Justine Bagyenda, Margaret Matovu and Apollo Obo who were supposed to submit them to the Governor.

Governor Mutebile blamed the officials over the mess.

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