Government through the Spokesperson and the Director Uganda Media Centre, Ofwono Opondo has come out to dispute allegations that there has been an extra Shs 90bn that was ferried into the country by officials of Bank of Uganda.
The country woke up on Friday morning to reports of the raid of Bank of Uganda by the State House Anti-corruption Unit claiming the bank’s officials had illegally printed excess money from Germany to a tune of Shs90bn for their personal benefit.
However, addressing the media, the Government Spokesperson noted that the public should regard such claims as rumours.
“I would like to dispel at this point the rumours on social media, our investigations so far seem to point that there is no additional money that was printed by either officials of Bank of Uganda or somebody and later delivered into the country,” Opondo said.
Opondo said, “Our investigations point to business people and other organisations who were simply taking advantage of a cheap flight that had already been chartered by Bank of Uganda”.
Opondo said that Bank of Uganda procured items from France and chartered a plane from Paris to deliver its consignment to Uganda on the 27th of April with the Bank’s staff.
After they had checked and cleared their items, one of the staff noticed that the plane was carrying additional five palates.
“Upon returning to BOU headquarters, they notified the Governor Bank of Uganda on the 2nd May, he wrote on 3rd May to State House Anti-corruption unit to help verify the additional items. Following that, a number of officials, 8 of them from different ranks have been questioned,” Opondo said.
Opondo noted that the plane was supposed to carry 20 palates of printed material but there were additional five palates that were on the chartered plane and this has been confirmed by the retrieved documentations through customs and the aviation.
He explained that the documentations seem to point that the palates were carrying items of 13 other private business people and international organisations.
“Very surprisingly the United Nations and USAID is among them and it was carrying UN supplies like blood reagents, solar equipment and other items. There were goods for other local Ugandans like, Charles Mbiire, Mandela Millers and Uptake Uganda Investment Limited,” Opondo noted.
He observed that there are people in the country and organisations that take advantage when government institutions like Bank of Uganda charter planes for its work so as to cut costs.
Opondo revealed that the current investigations are to establish why the two BOU officials, the head of currency centre for Mbale and Kabale who were sent to Paris to ensure that these consignments were checked and packed properly to be flown to Uganda didn’t that there were additional palates on the cargo plane.
“The investigations are trying to trace why they didn’t notice that in the plane they had chartered, there were additional cargo or perhaps picked somewhere midway after leaving Paris.”
He added, “So far we want to assure the public that the investigations at Bank of Uganda is smooth and I want to underscore that this follows a written request by the Governor and we are sure that all officials who are connected to this procurement will cooperate with Uganda Police and the State House Anti-corruption unit.”
He said that hopefully next week , government will write to the international organisations seeking for an explanation and the BOU officials under confinement will perhaps be paraded for police to determine those to receive bond.