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House gets forged papers on Mbabazi

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th September 2008 03:00 AM

BANK documents circulated in Parliament this week intended to prove that security minister Amama Mbabazi paid a bribe to finance minister Ezra Suruma are false, the banks concerned have stated.

BANK documents circulated in Parliament this week intended to prove that security minister Amama Mbabazi paid a bribe to finance minister Ezra Suruma are false, the banks concerned have stated.

By vision reporter

BANK documents circulated in Parliament this week intended to prove that security minister Amama Mbabazi paid a bribe to finance minister Ezra Suruma are false, the banks concerned have stated.

A letter sent to MPs probing the National Social Security Fund and other members on Tuesday claimed that sh460m was transferred from minister Mbabazi’s account in Tropical Bank to his daughter’s account in the National Bank of Commerce.

The letter also claimed that later sh410m was paid from the account of Mbabazi’s daughter, Rachel, to Everlight College Bunga, a school belonging to Mrs. Suruma.

The payments were reportedly made on February 7, 2008, before Suruma approved the NSSF land deal.

‘We have been following the NSSF land saga very closely. We realise that you lack some very important but secret evidence,” the letter, signed by ‘concerned citizens’, read.

MPs yesterday confirmed receipt of the anonymous letter, which caused excitement among MPs.

Committee chairman John Odit said he had directed officials from the parliamentary research department to verify its authenticity.

“We have received the documents from an anonymous person and we are going to subject it to verification. It’s useful information,” Odit said.

Other MPs interviewed said they found it in their pigeonholes yesterday. “I don’t know who placed it there and at what time. However, we are still investigating and to us any information is very useful,” one MP said.

Attached to the letter were two bank documents, meant to prove both transactions. One is a copy of a bank transfer of sh460m to Rachel Mbabazi from Tropical Bank. The other is a National Bank of Commerce cheque for sh410m from Rachel Mbabazi to Bunga Everlight College.

However, both banks have denied that the transactions took place. “This transaction does not exist at our bank. Therefore, it is forged,” said Mohamed Ali Wahra, the managing director of Tropical Bank, in a signed statement.

“There was no customer instruction from the account holder to the bank instructing the release of funds. No debit (was) recorded from the customer’s account.”

Tropical Bank further pointed out that the reference code for the transaction, which appears in the forged document, was for a payment of sh5m by another customer “that has no relation to this issue”.

National Bank of Commerce also denied any payment to Everlight College. “The above cheque was never presented to the bank and no transaction has ever been carried out on the basis of this cheque as per bank’s records,” a statement signed by the bank’s chief executive said.

A close scrutiny of the cheque shows that the signature was forged. Furthermore, it indicates that the cheque book was printed on June 6, 2008 yet the cheque was purportedly issued four months earlier, on February 15.

Rachel Mbabazi said her cheque book was stolen from her car some two weeks ago. “My car was broken into on the afternoon of August 29 near Rwenzori Courts (in Kampala). My bag was stolen, which contained office documents as well the cheque book,” she said.

“I did not make much of it at the time. It was only when the bank demanded a Police statement that I reported it.”

According to the Kampala Central Police Station report, dated September 6, the loss of the cheque book for account number 2197006 was reported, the same account number which appears on the fake cheque.

A copy of her bank statement for February and March 2008, seen by The New Vision, also shows that no such transaction took place. In fact, it shows that there was no money on the account in February and she was fined sh5,000 for violating the minimum balance requirement.

Several MPs yesterday met and discussed the document and resolved to ask Mbabazi when he appears before the committee today.

House gets forged papers on Mbabazi

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