By Max Patrick Ocaido
Bank of Uganda (BoU) has issued new security measures following last week’s incident where staff were caught on camera cameras stealing large sums of money at Mbale currency centre.
Apparently, this stolen money is part of the old banknotes which is out of circulation and kept at the branch strong room waiting to be destroyed.
As a result, BoU has issued an internal security alert to all their currency centres across the country in order “to mitigate risks and strengthen internal controls in currency operations.”
The new security measures released by Acting director Baord Affairs at BoU, Bazinzi Natamba will affect access to counting/machine rooms at all the currency branches.
“In order to mitigate risks and strengthen internal controls in our currency operations, note that no examiner should access the Counting/Machine room of another Currency Branch without the required authorization,” Natamba says.
The new security measures also ensure that no staff other than examiners shall participate in the Counting room activities such as sorting, punching and strapping of stocks. BoU has also ordered that all currency centre must ensure that their CCTV recordings are reviewed daily and staff must stop carrying any items such as tea, water, eats, juice and also remove waste baskets or boxes in the counting rooms.
It emerged that staff have been using trashcans in the counting rooms to loads old banknotes and sneak them out of the Bank.
Currently, the Central Bank has 8 other branches in the districts of Jinja, Mbale, Gulu, Mbarara, Masaka, Arua, Fort Portal and Kabale. The main functions of the branches are to accept bulk deposits, effect withdrawals and process banknotes deposited, to ensure that adequate banknotes of acceptable quality are available for re-circulation. The law gives Bank of Uganda powers to destroy banknotes which do not meet the required quality standard.