The former Central Bank Executive Director Supervision, Ms Justine Bagyenda, picked bags containing what is believed to be missing crucial documents required by Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase), MPs have been told.
Ms Bagyenda, who in a letter to the Committee, claimed to be out of the country and is yet to appear before MPs.
Committee Chairperson Abdu Katuntu formed a special Committee to inquire into circumstances under which Ms Bagyenda took the suspicious bags, with the investigation now extended to cover her Aide-De-Camp (ADC), driver and two other security officers who CCTV footage showed took part in the activity.
“There was a rare security mishap caused by Ms Bagyenda when she accessed the bank and took bags containing unknown items,” said Brig Gen Francis Tukahiirwa (UPDF), who heads the select Committee.
“She [Ms Bagyenda] used her status to shun security checks…it was unfortunate that those items were taken to an unknown destination…Ms Bagyenda should be held individually responsible,” said Brig Tukahiirwa.
Mr Milton Opio, head of Bank of Uganda’s security said they are not aware about the contents of the bags, but said the officers involved in taking the items will inform the Committee on its contents.
Ms Bagyenda’s ADC, Juliet Adikoti, had earlier objected to facing the Committee, saying she first needed clearance from the Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth Ochola.
Mr Katuntu objected, ordered the administration of oaths to them, saying the IGP’s directives do not supersede the Committee powers provided by the Constitution.
“From the Select Committee report, you asked the driver to come and help you carry the bags…we will need to know who told you to carry those bags, where did you take them and why,” Katuntu told Ms Adikoti.
Mr Opio said they had secured a search warrant to investigate Ms Bagyenda, but that they dropped the idea when similar bags were returned to the bank by Ms Bagyenda’s aides.
The Committee commenced the probe following the controversial closure of the now defunct Crane Bank, which has since attracted an acrimonious court battle between owner Sudhir Ruparelia and the Central Bank.
Crucial documents have been reported missing, and Ms Bagyenda is pinned for the disappearance of those documents which could determine the probe.
The probe now awaits Ms Bagyenda’s appearance, after the Committee instructed Police to do everything possible to cause her appearance.