Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi has dismissed as “ridiculous”, claims that he ordered journalist Andrew Mwenda to pick money from the central bank.
This followed claims by presidential advisor Tamale Mirundi that Muhakanizi authorized a transaction of Shs 5bn with the large sum of money being picked by Mwenda.
Using a nickname, Mirundi said on NBS TV that Mwenda “drove his car and went to Bank of Uganda and withdrew Shs 5bn and put it in his vehicle…”
The controversial former journalist alleged that “Museveni ordered Mwenda to return the Shs 5bn unconditionally. He would have been arrested today.”
Mirundi, who has for long attacked Mwenda on his show, added: “Now I am asking Muhakanizi. What was the money meant for?
He further alleged that Mwenda told Museveni that he was only a “messenger”.
Contacted today to speak on this development, Muhakanizi observed: “Does it make sense to you?”
The Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary said “no single individual can order Bank of Uganda on what to do. I can’t tell them to release money just like that. It can’t happen.”
Muhakanizi said all transactions run on paper work, wondering, then “how could I just pick a phone and say give so and so money? It’s a pure lie.”
Mwenda also expressed surprise about the allegations, saying “government money can’t be released that way.”
Mirundi said he was in possession of an audio recording to prove his claims but did not play it on air as he had threatened.
Mirundi said he will never forgive Mwenda for reportedly reporting him to President Museveni that he was abusing the First Family leading to his sacking as presidential press secretary.