By our reporter
Details have emerged that a group Bank of Uganda staff across the eight currency centers have been sharing old notes worth billions of shillings in the selected rural districts of Uganda including Luwero and others.
The groups that include senior managers of the central bank have been doing this practice for years without the knowledge of the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
The sources further told www.mknewslink.com that what is strange is that these groups of people involved were reportedly recommended by a senior person in the central bank and were evenly distributed across the eight centres and therefore, it isnt surprising that they are the ones participating in the currency stealing.
According to the procedures, before disposing off collected old notes, BoU staff are supposed to punch holes in the notes so that they dont return to circulation, but the staff have over the years taken out the notes without punching holes in the notes, well knowing it is illegal.
Bank of Uganda has eight currency centers in Jinja, Mbale, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Gulu and Arua.
Analysts say it is the reason why the country still has so many old shilling notes in circulation. “The affected BoU staff connive with their friends to circulate these notes,” an analyst said, adding that many BoU staff involved in this crime have benefited from it, with many setting up businesses in real estate, hotels and merchandise trade.
Days ago, this website reported that three staff of BoU Mbale Currency Centre were arrested as they reportedly smuggled out old notes in sacks.
According to security sources, the three are part of the racket in BoU that smuggle out money which is supposed to be destroyed.
A combined team of security operatives from police, intelligence and military stormed the currency centre after a tip off from an internal staff that it had become norm for money which is supposed to be destroyed to be ferried outside the bank and shared amongst top staff.
To address the challenge of stealing the old notes, the acting director in the BoU currency department, Bazinzi Natamba, has issued a warning to note examiners and other staff. Among the new measures Natamba has introduced is that no note examiner should access a counting /machine room of another currency centre without authorization.
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website