Two Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials, who are accused of abuse of office and corruption, have Friday denied the charges before being sent on remand at Luzira by the Anti-Corruption Court until June 25, 2019.
Grade 1 Magistrate, Abert Asiimwe, said the sureties of Francis Kakeeto and Fred Vito Wanyama lacked “substantial identification documents.”
Francis Kakeeto and Fred Vito Wanyama were sent to Paris, France in late April, 2019, to verify and witness the transportation of Shs 350bn in Shs 5,000 denominations printed from Oberthur Fiduciaire.
They were arrested this past Wednesday and quizzed on the extra pallets found on a plane chartered to exclusively transport banknotes from Belgium to Uganda.
The duo was delivered to the Anti-corruption court in Kololo, Kampala on Friday morning.
According to the charge sheet, Kakeeto, 36, a resident of Nabuti in Mukono District and Wanyama, 42, a resident of Seeta, Mukono on April 26, 2019 between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport being employed in Bank of Uganda as branch manager and Assistant branch manager respectively while on assignment by their employer to carry out a pre-shipment inspection of printed materials in France in abuse of the authority of their offices, did an arbitrary act, prejudicial to the interest of their employer to wit, allowed the inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a cargo plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.”
The State said this amounted to “abuse of office” contrary to section 11 (1) of the Anti-corruption Act, 2009.
Prosecutors also alleged that the duo while on an assignment by their employer to carry out a pre-shipment inspection of printed material in France “corruptly neglected to perform the said duty when they failed to refute and or report the inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.”
The chartered plane contained other cargo belonging United Nations, USAID and businessmen such as MTN Uganda Chairman, Charles Mbiire.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said these individuals and entities paid taxes for their goods.
The accused pleaded “not guilty” to the charges before requesting for bail.
The State Attorney said the sureties lacked identification particulars which would allow the state to trace the accused since investigations into the currency saga were still underway.
A lady who identified herself as Prossy Kakeeto said she was married to Kakeeto but her identity card bore the name Prossy Navuga.
She also didn’t present a marriage certificate to prove her marriage to Kakeeto.
Wanyama’s sureties also lacked the required documents such as introductory letters from Local Council leaders to prove permanent place of abode.
The Magistrate said the sureties were clearly unprepared.
“Justice hurried is justice buried,” said Magistrate Asiimwe.
The duo were later led out of the courtroom to the holding cells from where they will be driven to Luzira prison till next Tuesday.
The lawyer, Samuel Ejoku said it was difficult to prepare a solid bail application as most of the sureties arrived late and lacked the needed identification documents.
Additional reporting by Christopher Kiiza