14 June 2019

Uganda: 8 Govt Officials Arrested Over Bank of Uganda Procurement Anomalies

Photo: Daily Monitor
Bank of Uganda (file photo)

At least eight government officials in Uganda have been arrested and detained as the State House Anti-Corruption Unit investigates Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials in connection with procurement of classified items.

Mr Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of the government Media Centre, said in an interview with NBS Television that those arrested include directors in charge of currency, procurement as well as security.

Others arrested are customs officials, airport police officers, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff among others.

"We are inquiring why the BoU officials who were using a chartered plane had to go through the normal procedure," Mr Opondo said.

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said in a statement on Friday that the Central Bank received a consignment but during verification process, staff reported an anomaly in the inventory.

"I requested the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House to investigate," the statement says.

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Mr Mutebile said the bank is committed to maintaining the integrity of its operations.

Mr Opondo dismissed reports that extra currency had been printed without authority, saying those are rumours, but added that more officials would be summoned to explain what happened.

Mr Opondo told the NBS Television in an exclusive interview on Friday that there are people and international organisations of interest to the investigation but none has been formally accused of a crime.

"Immediately, Lt Col Edith Nakalema and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director, Mr Grace Akullo received a request, they could not move until they briefed the president [Mr Yoweri Museveni] who has given them a go ahead," he said.

According to Mr Opondo, the eight were arrested during a joint security operation mounted by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt. Col Nakalema and operatives from CID.

Lt Col Nakalema said in a statement that the Anti-Corruption Unit, the CID and the Bank of Uganda are collaborating in a special investigation on the bank's procurement and supply chain activities.

"This investigation is being carried out following an invitation by the Governor of the Bank of Uganda and in close cooperation with the governor's office," he said.

Some of the BoU officials have been released on police bond while others remain in custody.

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