By Namugerwa Martha
The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has clarified on the alleged funds the Central Bank ‘hid’ in a ‘secret’ foreign account in its statement which was issued on Sunday.
According to Christine B. Alupo, the Director Communications at BoU said that the alleged information is erroneous and misleading the public and Ugandans at large.
“There have been some stories in the media recently alleging that Bank of Uganda hid money on a secret foreign bank account, which are not true, these stories misrepresent some of the information that was provided in testimony by the Bank of Uganda (BoU) before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on August 2, 2017,” Alupo said.
She added that the Bank was appearing before COSASE to respond to issues that had been raised by the Auditor General arising from routine end of financial year audits covering three financial years starting from 2013/14 forward.
“One of the issues that had been raised pertained to a dormant trust account held in Deutsche Bank in Germany that had not been reflected in the books of the Bank of Uganda. I wish to clarify the facts around this case for the benefit of the public,” she added.
Additionally, Alupo said that the account in reference was opened on December 17, 2003 on the instructions of Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in the Deutsche Bank in Germany and its purpose was to receive proceeds from the sale of shares in DFCU Bank by a German company called Deutsche Entwicklungs Gesellschaft (DEG), which until then had been a shareholder in DFCU Bank.
However, during the process of preparing the annual statements for the financial year 2013/14, Bank of Uganda classified the DEG account as dormant, and accordingly informed the Accountant General in September 2013. From the time the matter of dormancy was raised, it was handled between the BoU and MoFPED in line with procedure related to dormant accounts.
Therefore, consequently authorization to close the account was given by the Accountant General, and in February 2015, the funds were transferred to the Consolidated Fund. The amount transferred was UGX 10,799,947, 297. The equivalent in Euros was EURO 3,354,089.54.