Former central bank executive director Justine Bagyenda is seeking repossession of her passports to enable her travel for a Christmas holiday.
The passports were confiscated by the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) early this month, after Bagyenda snubbed the committee, where she was expected to respond to queries on the irregularities in the sale of commercial banks over the years.
The committee is investigating circumstances under which the central bank closed and sold Teefe Trust bank, International Credit Bank Ltd, Greenland bank, Uganda Cooperative bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust bank and Crane bank. The banks were closed between 1993 and 2016.
At a time when she was needed to respond to the queries, Bagyenda suddenly traveled to Houston, USA to attend the International Trauma Summit. During her absence, evidence presented to the committee, indicated that she was in charge of supervision at the time of the closure of the cited banks, and was at the pivot of all operations and irregularities of the bank.
Upon her return, Bagyenda was asked to deposit both her passports with the parliamentary police officer in charge. Cosase chairperson Abdu Katuntu today said that he had received a letter from Bagyenda requesting for her passports.
Katuntu says that Bagyenda is a very critical witness since all the bank closure transactions were based in her office and that they cannot have a useful meeting in her absence. Katuntu said that they will base their decision on the committee's program.
"We can’t refuse anybody to go for Christmas but then whether she goes for Christmas, she must be here when we need. So she will tell us when she’s leaving. She has to reconcile her program of travel with the committee travel. Where they conflict, the committee program prevails over her travels because we’re not going to stop this process because madam Bagyenda is on holiday. However we can’t also keep here when the committee is not meeting, it is soon going to be Christmas festival and people will be going for Christmas." said Katuntu.