MPs Ask Auditor General To Probe Bank of Uganda

Auditor General John Muwanga has been instructed to return to Bank of Uganda (BoU) to do a broad forensic audit into the operations of the bank and demand accountability of Shs200b, which was injected into the collapsing Crane Bank before it was sold off to dfcu Bank, Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.

The privately owned daily newspaper said government used taxpayers’ money to rescue Crane Bank from collapse but the initiative was a fiasco. Cabinet, according to the newspaper, had warned that ‘the collapse of one of the largest commercial banks in the country could torpedo the entire financial sector.’

The Auditor General’s expanded audit into BoU was prompted by petitions from former Crane Bank and central bank employees regarding Shs200b allegedly sunk into the defunct commercial bank, the newspaper revealed.

Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru told Daily Monitor that before the release of money (Shs200b) to Crane Bank “under the guise of capitalisation”, Parliament had already capitalised BoU with Shs400b. Mr Mwiru said “all these monies remain unaccounted for.”

“Referring to two separate petitions from former Crane Bank shareholders and unidentified BoU staff, MPs on Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) have asked the Auditor General to audit the central bank afresh.” The newspaper said.

It added that the MPs further asked Mr Muwanga to scrutinise the disputed agreement signed with dfcu Bank during the sale of Crane Bank.

Some of the MPs on Cosase and sources close to the Auditor General’s office told Daily Monitor at the weekend that details of the two petitions were given to Mr Muwanga last week. They said the new expanded audit into BoU operations will form the basis of Parliament’s inquiry into the central bank’s dealings, including the sale of Crane Bank to dfcu Bank.

The spokesperson for the Auditor General’s office, Ms Gloria Namugera, confirmed the forensic investigation into BoU and said the audit process is ongoing.

“All those issues will be captured in our report to Parliament. The audit will be within the confines of the law. The National Audit Act is very clear on the mandate of the Auditor General. We will analyse the new issues and see how to incorporate them in the expanded audit into bank of Uganda,” Ms Namugera told Daily Monitor at the weekend.

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