Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Uganda: Post Bank Md, 7 Officials Charged With Corruption


Seven top officials of Post Bank Uganda were yesterday charged with fraud.

The suspects appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court and were charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss and conspiracy to defraud their employer.

They are Mr Stephen Mukweli, the managing director, Ms Safina Wabuna, the executive director for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mr David Mwesige, the head of Information Technology, Mr Augustine Kisitu, the head of Business Technology and Mr Emmanuel Mwaka, the finance manager.

Others are Alex Kayaayo (Executive Director for Credit and Business Growth), Fred Samuel Wasike (Head of Business Growth) and Gilbert Nuwamanya (Sales Manager).

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They all denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya.

However, they were granted bail and ordered to deposit their passports in court. They return to court on May 30 for mention of their cases.

The chief magistrate issued criminal summons to Mr Jackson Mwesigwa, the bank’s general manager for Finance, who was not in court.

The suspects were charged hardly a month after the State House Anticorruption Unit led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema raided Post Bank and retrieved sensitive documents to help in the ongoing investigations into alleged mismanagement of the bank.

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The State House team and police CID detectives and officials from the Auditor General’s office on April 5 spent nine hours with the bank’s top officials.

Prosecution case

On the first case file, Mr Mukweli, Kayaayo, Wasike, Nuwamanya and Mwesigwa were charged with abuse of office and causing financial loss of Shs292m.

In another file, the state contends that in April 2017, Mukweli and Wabuna irregularly altered the sum of contract for conducting ICT test from Shs20.2m to Shs37m contrary to procurement procedures.

It is further stated that their action resulted in overpayment of Shs16.75m to Aptech Computer Education knowing or having reason to believe that the acts would cause financial loss to Post Bank.

It is also alleged that on October 16, 2017, in Kampala, Mr Mukweli abused his authority by arbitrarily signing a contract for supply of e-suit banking system to Compulynx Uganda Limited for more than Shs5.7 billion instead of Shs4.2 billion that had been approved by the contracts Committee.

It is further alleged that on October 29, 2017, at Post Bank Ms Wabuna, Mr Mwesige and Mr Kisitu requisitioned, approved and confirmed availability of additional funding of Shs1.6 billion without the approval of the contracts Committee.

Mukweli, Wabuna, Mwesige and Mwesigwa also allegedly requisitioned, processed, approved and paid Shs2.88b to Compulynx Uganda Limited for supply of e-suit Banking System in disregard of the payment structure stipulated in the procurement contract.

According to the charge sheet, on December 19 and 21, 2018, Mukweli, Mwesige and Mwaka effected payment of Shs848.5m to the same company for supply of the same equipment contrary to the payment structure stipulated in the procurement contract.

State House speaks. In a statement after the raid on Post Bank last month, Lt Col Nakalema said they were investigating alleged abuse of office and some senior bank officials were under inquiry but the bank operations would continue uninterrupted.

“This investigation is being carried out in consultation with Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,” she added.

Lt Col Nakalema said her team was working with CID and the Office of the Auditor General to carry out a special investigation on Post Bank’s head offices on Nkrumah Road.

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