By Kagenyi Lukka
Salutations Mr. President. I hope this message finds you in good health.
I’m writing to you this letter on the backdrop of incendiary and disturbing reports that one of the authorities that was established to monitor, investigate, and prevent/combat money laundering is dithering on whether to investigate a high profile person on possible money laundering activities.
Your Excellency, the Authority on spot is the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) which was established by parliament under the anti-money laundering Act, 2013 and the person who should be investigated is Ms Justine Bagyenda, the outgoing executive director for commercial bank supervision at the Bank of Uganda.
For your quick recollection, the FIA board is chaired by Mr. Leo Kibirango (a person who you well know) and Ms Bagyenda has been its member since 2014 while its Executive director is Sydney Asubo, the former director of legal affairs at Inspectorate of government.
Owing in mind that you are the de facto Minister of Finance though you delegate power and authority to different a person (minister of finance), it is highly timely that you interest yourself in this matter.
Mr. President, the official in Question whose leaked accounts indicate that she had accumulated over Uganda sh18 billion in a space of only six years while she served as director for commercial bank supervision at BoU. She still walks scot-free despite petitions to FIA from a whistleblower.
For instance, her account in Diamond Trust Bank had 11.4 billion shillings. She also had a fixed deposit account with 214,149 dollars and 436 million shillings as of December 2017. Her GT account had 2.4 billion shillings, while her Barclays bank account had 98 Million shillings!
Similarly,, leaked documents of her mobile money transactions showed that Bagyenda’s mobile number (07727*86*9), made transactions amounting to Shs 500 million in three years to a one Robert Muhumuza, alone.
On Leo Kibirango.
Kibirango is the chairman of board that essentially, supervises the activities of the financial Intelligence Authority, and therefore Mr. Asubo and the team report to the board. However, reports indicate that the former governor of BOU is either conflicted or incompetent to firmly shoulder such a responsibility which has left FIA’s image to be a shadow of what it ought to be.
Despite having an avalanche of accusations cascading on her shoulders, Mr. Kibirango is yet to request Ms. Bagyenda to step down from the authority’s board so as not to interfere with investigations. And close to three months down the road after receiving the petition, the public is yet to receive a single paragraph of how far FIA has gone with the investigation.
Mr. President, how competent and fit is such a person to chair a sensitive board like one of FIA?
On Sydney Asubo, a man with undoubted experience and knowledge of the law is yet to convince the public that he is the right man for job. This is because, one struggles to identify a case that he has successfully investigated and led to prosecution since 2014. This leaves a long rift of doubt as to whether Asubo can successfully investigate one of his gaffers.
Finally Mr. President, the duo has left undone what they ought to have done and done what they ought not to have done. It is high time you relieved them of their duties like you recently did to immigration officials Godfrey Sasaga, the director Immigration and Commissioner, Anthony Namara so as to save the darkening image of FIA.
Thank you, Mr President.
I remain Kagenyi Lukka, the aspiring MP Ikiiki Constituency in Budaka.