Auditor General pokes holes in BOU evidence

Bank of Uganda (BOU) bosses found themselves in yet another tight corner after the Auditor General’s office poked holes in the evidence they had tendered before Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is currently probing the irregular closure of seven commercial banks between 1993 and 2016.

At the start of the hearings last week, the committee tasked the Central Bank to present an inventory report on the closure of Teefe Trust Bank Ltd which was closed in 1993.

While the BOU was convinced the filed they took to the committee at the beginning of this week were sufficient, the Auditor General, John Muwanga after perusing through the documents wrote to the committee informing the MPs that they had instead been given examination reports but not an inventory report.

The inventory required, Muwanga told the MPs, should contain a full list of assets and liabilities of Teefe Trust Bank at the time of its liquidation in 1993, but not the pre-liquidation assessment that BOU presented.

Director of banking supervision at Bank of Uganda, Tumubweine Twinemanzi however said that the Central Bank  isn’t aware if there was evaluation at that time. This was after committee chairman Abdu Katuntu asked the BOU team whether it carried out an evaluation of Teefe Trust Bank Ltd’s assets at the time of its liquidation.

“These things happened 25 years ago, many of these people weren’t in charge of the Bank. I request we are given an opportunity to go back and craft this process. It would be better to sit in office, gather information from the archives,” Bernard Ssekabira, who was a banking officer at BOU at the time of Teefe Trust Bank’s closure, told the MPs.

Since most of the current BOU officials were not employees of the Central Bank at the time of Teefe Trust Bank’s closure, Katuntu asked Bank of Uganda to carry along all the officers who were holding office at the time of Teefe Trust Bank’s takeover.

The BOU officials were also tasked to explain why for 25 years they are still holding on 23 land titles that had been deposited with the commercial bank as securities.