Bagyenda sneaked out of central bank with bags of documents, says BoU security chief
PROBE | Justine Bagyenda packed and spirited away several important documents from Bank of Uganda vaults in February this year, the central bank head of security has said.
Bagyenda, the former executive director in charge of supervision at the central bank, was captured on CCTV cameras retrieving same documents that she packed in the bag and left the bank premises with on February 11, just days after she was prematurely relieved of her duties.
Milton Orech Opio, the head of security, told the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (Cosase) that Bagyenda took the documents in a bag to her home.
Cosase, which is probing circumstances under which seven commercial banks were liquidated in the last 25 years, also heard that some of the documents were traced to Bagyenda’s home.
Orech’s statements were in response to concerns raised that some of the documents used to conduct the liquidation business of some of the banks couldn’t be traced, with the head of security telling Parliament that the bank learnt of the issue two weeks after she had left.
“Immediately, the central bank moved to reclaim the documents and tried to obtain a search warrant for the purpose but she objected to the process, claiming that she was being witch-hunted,” Orech said.
How she got away
It might sound inconceivable that Bagyenda, who last week left the country in the middle of her summons by Cosase, could simply walk out of the highly guarded central bank with documents without raising an alarm.
But, according to Orech, Bagyenda managed to beat the security to sneak out with three bags using her bodyguard, who refused to be searched and given that she was a senior manager, the security personnel couldn’t insist.
The revelations saw Cosase chairperson Abdul Katuntu task a four-member team of MPs to review the security camera footage at the central bank and present a report to the committee highlighting what happened at the time the documents were allegedly stolen.
Katuntu also issued summons to the two security guards who were on duty on the day of the incident. They will be expected to appear before the committee for cross-examination tomorrow.
Cosase relaxes on Bagyenda AWOL
Meanwhile, Bagyenda was expected to appear before Cosase on Tuesday was still a no-show but Katuntu was not talking tough like he did last week.
Instead, the Cosase chair has extended summons issued to Bagyenda to Thursday, saying failure to show up before the committee will see a warrant for her arrest issued.
Bagyenda last week left the country without notifying the committee before which she had appeared twice. She said in a note to Bank of Uganda governor that she had prior engagements outside the country before the committee summons.
Through her lawyers Kirunda Wesige and Company Advocates, Bagyenda has informed the committee that she is attending an international trauma summit in the US that runs from Tuesday 27 to Friday November 30, hence asking to be given more ten days that she will be back in the country.