By Max Patrick Ocaido
Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile has admitted that the recently concluded COSASE probe “inadvertently” tainted the good image of the Central Bank.
Mutebile is quoted as saying in the 2019 Bank of Uganda Annual Report that was released on Wednesday. He said that whereas the Central Bank has a good accountability culture and does not shy away from being accountable for its expenditures, actions and decisions, the COSASE probe on the closure of 7 commercial Banks soiled the institution’s image.
“The Bank of Uganda continued to engage the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State enterprises (COSASE) as well as other accountability mechanisms put in place by the Laws of Uganda. Inadvertently, the accountability process has been misconstrued by certain stakeholders leading to an increase in negative sentiment about the institution,” Mutebile said.
He however, said that the Central Bank remains steadfast in upholding its values of transparency and Accountability, integrity, team work, and excellence in executing its mandate. In 2018, Abdu Katuntu’s COSASE pinned Central Bank and top staff including Justine Bagyenda, former Executive Director in charge of Supervision for fraudulently selling embattled 7 commercial Banks.
The Banks include; Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) in 2016.
As a result, BoU officials led by Mutebile appeared before COSASE and explained the actions undertaken in the resolution of 7 closed commercial banks that had been a subject of investigation by the Auditor General’s special audit. Mutebile says that whereas the COSASE probe has had far reaching consequences on the image of the Bank, “the suggestions for improvement of the BoU’s supervisory and regulatory role contained in the report of COSASE have been evaluated by the Bank to assess the feasibility and impact of implementing them.”
Every year, Bank of Uganda is required to produce an Annual Report detailing the state of affairs including its financial position to the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development. The financial position of the Bank is externally audited by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and the findings of OAG’s reports may be further scrutinized by Parliamentary Committees such as COSASE.