Following Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s directive, a team of 15 Forensic experts from the Auditor General’s office yesterday went to Bank of Uganda (BoU) headquarters and demanded all documents relating to the controversial sale of Crane Bank and other three closed commercial banks.
Kadaga wrote to the Auditor General instructing his office to go ahead with the audit after Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende had attempted to block the process, which was a directive of Parliament, citing the sub-judice rule as the Crane Bank matter is before the High Court.
Kasekende’s position was supported by the Solicitor General’s office, but Kadaga, a lawyer by profession said guidance on matters sanctioned by Parliament can only be clarified by Parliament.
The Speaker in her May 10 letter said that BoU, like every other public institution created by the law in Uganda is subject to audit and ordered the Auditor General that, “In response to your request for guidance, you should proceed with the audit as directed and submit your report to my office as is required by law.”
Following Kadaga’s letter, the Auditor General, Mr John F.S Muwanga on 15 May, wrote to the BoU Governor infoming him that following the clarification by the Speaker, his office would proceed with the audit.
“I have received the clarification from the Rt. Hon Speaker in a letter ref AP116/161/01 dated 10th May 2018 and copied to you guiding me to proceed with the audit and submit the report to Parliament as required by law. In view of the above, this is therefore to inform you that the team will be resuming the exercise commencing on Thursday May 17, 2018. ”
Muwanga asked that the governor prevails upon his staff to cooperate with AG auditors, despite previous advice from the Solicitor General that they shouldn’t cooperate.
The auditors will be seeking to establish the status on banks at closure, the cost of the liquidation exercise as well as assets and liabilities of the said banks at closure and current status.
The auditors will also be looking to establish the scale of the non-performing assets, non-recoverable assets at closure and who is recovering.
The other banks apart from Crane Bank are; Teefe Bank, Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank.
They petitioned Parliament’s Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) chaired by Mr Abdul Katuntu and demanded an investigation into the sale of Crane Bank to dfcu Bank and the closure of other banks in the past.
Two whistleblowers also petitioned Parliament and the Inspector General of Government (IGG) on the same matter, calling for an independent audit into the sale agreement on Crane Bank between BoU and dfcu bank.
The sale agreement was signed on January 25, 2017, between Mr Mutebile and Mr Juma Kisaame, the managing director of dfcu Bank.
The audit, according to sources, will also include the disputed agreement the BoU officials signed with dfcu Bank in the sale of Crane Bank, and other issues of accountability, supervision, guidelines and policies.
In a May 15 letter to Mr Mutebile, Mr Muwanga explained why he had temporarily suspended investigations into BoU and sought the Speaker’s guidance on the matter.