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Bagyenda Dumped from FIA Job

The former executive director Bank of Uganda in charge of supervision, Justine Bagyenda, has been dropped from the new board of the Financial Intelligence Authority.

Bagyenda was scheduled to appear before the Appointments Committee of parliament in September for vetting but failed to show up before the MPs.

She claimed that she had been abroad but records later indicated that she was roaming around the city and meeting several people including bank of Uganda external lawyers led by Timothy Masembe of MMAKS advocates.

She had reportedly been given another opportunity to appear but she did not turn up.
Sources have now told us that as a result, her name does not appear on a new list of FIA board members who are scheduled to take an oath.

The list includes Grace Akullo, the head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Patricia Mutesi, Leo Kibirango, the board chairman and Patrick Ocailap, the deputy secretary to the Treasury.

Bagyenda’s woes began after a whistleblower petitioned the IGG claiming she had stashed away Shs 2o billion on three different bank accounts.

A section of lawmakers then mounted pressure on the Parliament Appointments Committee to disqualify her reappointment to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) board.

The move was led by Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe and Ngora County legislator David Abala.

The three legislators urged that her appointment for another term before she is cleared by IGG would frustrate the ongoing investigations.
“This is the board that is meant to oversee and control money laundering; it becomes a challenge where a person under investigation on money laundering is made a member,” Mr Abala said.

“For me, I think this person does not qualify to be a member,” he added.
Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa questioned how someone supervising commercial banks, accumulated wealth so first to become a billionaire in so short a time.

He claimed there was evidence to prove their allegations.
The lawmakers said vetting Ms Bagyenda for the position would be a clear form of entertaining corruption.

According to Public Service standing orders, any officer of government under interdiction is not fit for appointment for any other position until he or she is cleared.

Ms Bagyenda was recently sacked as director supervision for commercial banks at BoU but in his May 7 letter, to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Finance minister Matia Kasaija had reappointed to the FIA board, attracting debate.

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