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Bagyenda Ordered to Deposit Passports with Police :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Bagyenda Ordered to Deposit Passports with Police

Committee Chairperson Abdu Katuntu directed Bagyenda to deposit both her International and East African Community EAC passports with the Parliament Police officer in charge, by close of business today.
Justine Bagyenda guided by COSASE clerk taking oath before making submissions on closure and sale of banks.

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Parliament's Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) have confiscated two passports of Justine Bagyenda, the former Central Bank Executive Director Supervision.

Committee Chairperson Abdu Katuntu directed Bagyenda to deposit both her International and East African Community (EAC) passports with the Parliament Police officer in charge, by close of business today.

Bagyenda had appeared before the committee currently investigating circumstances under which the Central Bank closed and sold seven commercial banks between 1993 and 2016. The banks include to Teefe Trust Bank, International Credit Bank Ltd, Greenland Bank, Uganda Co-operative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Ltd.

Evidence presented before the committee earlier indicated that Bagyenda, who was in charge of supervision at the time, was at the pivot of all operations and irregularities of the bank.  But the probe got a setback when Bagyenda abruptly flew out of the country amid the investigations two weeks ago.

During the time, the committee also heard that although Bagyenda had told the committee that she handed over all the documents to her successor Tumubweine Twinemanzi, She had facilitated the theft of documents from the Central Bank at the beginning of the year.

Evidence presented by Bank of Uganda's Director of Security Milton Opio indicated that their CCTV cameras captured Bagyenda's assistant's smuggling bags of documents from the Central Bank. He stated that a review of the security cameras saw Bagyenda's personal bodyguard and driver breach security and ferry out three bags to her car on Sunday, February 11 before driving off.

The two officers were later arrested on the orders of the committee and handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department.

In the heat of the storm, the committee issued summons demanding that Bagyenda appears on Tuesday, November 27. But her lawyers Kirunda Wesige & Co Advocates pleaded for an extension of 10 days to allow Bagyenda complete the International Trauma Summit which she had travelled to attend in Houston, U.S.A. After back and forth communications, the two sides agreed that Bagyenda appears before the committee today.

This morning, Bagyenda, in the company of lawyer Allan Nshimye, apologized for the inconvenience caused by her absence and pleaded for the release of her driver Job Turyahabwe and personal bodyguard Juliet Adikot who were last week handed over to the CID for perjury.

//Cue in; "I however would...

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Her statement followed Katuntu's dissatisfaction about the manner in which she left the country putting committee business to a halt. Katuntu, however, added that the law had to take its course leading to the arrest of the persons who allegedly aided Bagyenda in the theft of documents.

//Cue in; "we do hope...

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Mbarara Municipality MP Micheal Tusiime and Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa demanded that Bagyenda deposits her passports to ensure that she does not leave the country until investigations are closed, a request which was sustained by the committee leadership. She was also put under oath.

//Cue in;  "Mrs Bagyenda may...

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Katuntu says that Bagyenda's presence before the committee is crucial in obtaining key progressive reports on the liquidation of assets of closed banks. 

In his 2017 forensic audit report, the Auditor General queried the absence of asset movement schedules or ledgers indicating the bank assets at closure, the assets sold and their selling price, as well as performing and nonperforming loans.

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