Friday 5th April 2019, was a normal day at the government owned Post Bank limited head offices on Plot 4/6 Nkurumah Road.
However, something unusual was about to happen.
Acting on credible information as provided by whistle blower, State House Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt. Col Edith Nakalema, with heavily armed security surrounded Post Bank head offices when nearly all the bosses had settled in.
No one was allowed to move in or out.
The task was simple; retrieve sensitive documents to help in the ongoing investigations into alleged mismanagement of the bank and causing billions of shillings.
Caught unaware and fearing to lose customers, Post Bank officials made frantic calls to the Governor Bank of Uganda.
Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile who was away in the US, reportedly called the President expressing discomfort with the way the State House Anti-Corruption Unit had raided Bank.
Mutebile reportedly explained to the president that , Unlike ministries and other government departments, Banks survive on customer trust. The raid would see the bank lose all deposits in a few hours. That’s how State House unit left the bank.
The bank has about 600,000 customers.
Charged with fraud
On May 3rd, seven top officials of the Bank were charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss and conspiracy before the Anti-Corruption Court.
The suspects are; Stephen Mukweli, the managing director, Ms Safina Wabuna, the executive director for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), David Mwesige, the head of Information Technology, Augustine Kisitu, the head of Business Technology and Emmanuel Mwaka, the finance manager.
Others are Alex Kayaayo (Executive Director for Credit and Business Growth), Fred Samuel Wasike (Head of Business Growth) and Gilbert Nuwamanya (Sales Manager).
On the first case file, Mr Mukweli, Kayaayo, Wasike, Nuwamanya and Mwesigwa were charged with abuse of office and causing financial loss of Shs292m.
The state contends that on October 16, 2017 in Kampala, Mr Mukweli abused his authority by arbitrarily signing a contract for supply of e-suit banking system to Compulynx Uganda Limited for more than Shs5.7 billion instead of Shs4.2 billion that had been approved by the contracts Committee.
It is further alleged that on October 29, 2017, at Post Bank Ms Wabuna, Mr Mwesige and Mr Kisitu requisitioned, approved and confirmed availability of additional funding of Shs1.6 billion without the approval of the contracts Committee.
Mukweli, Wabuna, Mwesige and Mwesigwa also allegedly requisitioned, processed, approved and paid Shs2.88b to Compulynx Uganda Limited for supply of e-suit Banking System in disregard of the payment structure stipulated in the procurement contract.
Enter the whistle blower
Sometime this year, or late last year, a senior Post Bank official was reportedly fired for leaking information to the press- including the bad deals at the bank.-Did the bosses forget to give the employee his cut? Your guess is as good as ours.
It is said, the Post Bank management was able to conceive the board to fire this official. Little did they know they were opening a can of worms.
Sources close to State House Corruption Unit and Post Bank told Newz Post that it is this official who leaked the rot [including all the dirty deals at the Bank]. The official was in a key and sensitive position.
It is also alleged that nearly all the costs at the bank were inflated to cater for the greedy bank officials.
An official with one of the consulting firms in Kampala who conducted a training for bank officials in 2017, says he was shaken when a top management bank official [name withheld] asked him for ‘something’ after awarding him the training deal.
A real estate agent in Kampala says he went numb when the same official asked for a kickback when Post Bank rented a whole floor second floor at Cham Towers- on Kampala Road.
The board plays an oversight role in any organization.
However, since most board of directors are in the evening of their lives, with no ambitions in life, cunning managing directors and executive officers – first game plan is to ‘pocket’ them- make sure they are part of the eating.
Give them bonuses, deals to supply goods and services, trips abroad. This is just a tip of the iceberg. And when they become part of the eating, they forget their role- Allowing management to do as they wish.
While there is no evidence to show that Post Bank board was involved in the alleged dirty deals, they have since been replaced. An indication that they did not play their roles well to stop the fraud at the bank
Stephen Mukweli, MD Post Bank for 14 years and counting…..
Mr. Mukweli, the Post Bank Managing director and one of the suspects, is a career banker with over eighteen years of banking. He started his banking career as Managing Director of the defunct Uganda Commercial Bank-London Branch.
He joined Post Bank as MD in January 2005.
Before Mr. Mukweli and other top managers were arrested, he was about [in a week’s time] to renew his contract for another five years.
Some analysts say, Mukweli overstay could have aided rot at Post Bank in one way or another.
To be continued……..