Kampala — Three senior officials of the Bank of Uganda (BoU), among them the director-in-charge of currency, Mr Charles Malinga Akol, have been charged with corruption in connection with unexpected cargo that came on board with printed currency on a government-chartered plane.
Mr Malinga was charged jointly with Francis Kakeeto, 36, and Fred Vito Wanyama, 42, who are bankers at Central Bank branch in Mbale District.
Mr Kakeeto and Mr Wanyama, who were remanded to Luzira prison on Friday last week after court found their sureties not substantial, were charged afresh.
All the three accused persons denied the charges of alleged abuse of office and corruption before the Kololo-based Anti-Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate, Mr Albert Asiimwe.
Mr Asiimwe granted cash bail to the accused persons and ordered them to deposit their passports in court to restrict their movements.
The court ordered Mr Kakeeto to deposit Shs30m, Mr Wanyama (Shs25m) while Mr Malinga was ordered to deposit Shs40m in addition to his land title. Each of their eight sureties was bonded at Shs100m.
"The accused persons are cautioned to desist from the temptation of interfering with the inquiries. Considering the public interest in the matter, the state is asked to expedite investigations," Mr Asiimwe said.
The State Attorney, Ms Marion Acio, told court that investigations into the matter were still ongoing.
Prosecution alleges that on April 26, between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, being employed as branch manager and assistant branch manager respectively, while on an assignment by their employer to carry out pre-shipment inspection of printed currency in France in abuse of their authority of their offices, did an arbitrary act prejudicial to the interest of their employer to which they allowed the inclusion of unauthorised cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.
It is alleged that the duo corruptly neglected to perform the said duty when they failed to refute and report the inclusion of unauthorised cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.
The state contends that between March 1 and April 26 this year at Bank of Uganda offices in Kampala, Mr Malinga being employed as director of currency, neglected to perform the duty assigned to him as a contract manager for the contract of supply of printed material between Bank of Uganda and Ms Oberthur Fudiciare of France when he failed to ensure that the printed material was delivered by the supplier as per the terms of the contract.
Investigators said Bank of Uganda chartered the UK-based KUENE +NAGEL Cargo plane deliver a consignment of Uganda currency. The plane departed from Liege Airport in Belgium and landed at Entebbe on April 27 early morning.
However, it is not clear how or why the Uganda currency said to have been printed in France was taken to Belgium where Bank of Uganda, which chartered the plane, had no business.
After landing, it was later discovered that on the same flight was cargo of private individuals and agencies, which has triggered suspicion of foul play that warranted investigation.
At least eight government officials were arrested last week by the State House Anticorruption Unit jointly with police Criminal Investigations Department during an investigation against the Bank of Uganda officials implicated in the suspected currency scam.
After interrogation, the suspects were released on police bond.