"I would like to draw the attention of the committee onto some salient matters that I believe merit thorough investigations"
By Juliet Waiswa
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has requested the parliamentary probe team to investigate the circumstances under which several banks including Greenland Banks were closed by Bank of Uganda (BoU).
In a letter written to the parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises (COSASE) on Tuesday, Lukwago said the team should give chance to people who have information on some of the banks that are being investigated to appear before the probe.
“As a practising advocate who has been handling the late Dr Sulaiman Kiggundu’s matters, since the closure of the Greenland Bank in 1999, I would like to draw the attention of the committee onto some salient matters that I believe merit thorough investigations,” Lukwago told the press in his office yesterday.
He says it is on record that Kiggundu was arraigned on a litany of charges relating to management and administration of the defunct bank. It is also an undisputed fact that by the time he died, the court had not pronounced itself on any of those charges, largely an account of certain machinations engineered by the government.
“As counsel and close confidant, I can authoritatively attest to the fact that he died a very disorientated and frustrated man. Having failed to attain Justice from all government and state institutions that handled the Greenland saga,” Lukwago said.
It would, therefore, be grossly unjust and irregular for COSASE to wrap up the said investigations without listening to testimonies of his legal representatives or any other person who is seized with the capacity to testify in that behalf.
“It is on that premise that I have deemed it absolutely necessary to place before you an 11-page dossier detailing the circumstances and events leading to the demise of the Greenland Bank,” he said in his communication dated 12 February 2019.
Lukwago says that the findings in the aforesaid report clearly indicate that the Greenland Bank could have been resuscitated if Bank of Uganda had endeavoured to recover and refunded to the bank US$ 10.45m which had been paid to the government as part of the US17bn loan secured by Westmont for purchase of the Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB).
He says to date the whereabouts of this money remains a mystery.
The audit report though made stunning findings and revelations that part of the said money was disbursed to different individuals and entities under mysterious circumstances.
“I therefore humbly invite and beseech you, Mr Chairman and hon ministers of COSASE to be pleased to entertain this piece of evidence and proceed to interrogate all pertinent issues and matters raised herein in the best interest of Justice to not to only Kiggundu, but the entire country.”
Lukwago said that if the Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu is going to hand over the reins, the incoming chairman Mubarak Munyagwa should listen to his plea before they close investigations.
COSASE is investigating the closure and sale of seven commercial banks by the Central Bank.