Hearing of the corruption case against 3 Bank of Uganda (BoU) Officials accused of having allowed the inclusion of unauthorised material on a cargo plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda has commenced before the Anti-Corruption court.
Grade One Magistrate Abert Asiimwe is presiding over the trial of Charles Akol Malinga who was then Director Currency together with Francis Kakeeto and Fred Vito Wanyama who were attached to the Central Bank Mbale Branch in Mbale District but are now on interdiction.
They are alleged to have committed the offence between 1st March and 26th April 2019 between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport.
Prosecution Witness number one Milton Baluku who was heading the finance section under the currency department at the time has told court that on the instructions of his bosses, he led the team of 37 officers that went to Entebbe Airport to pick the BOU Cargo and transport it to Kampala Branch.
Baluku currently working as the Branch Manager Arua has confirmed to Court that apart from the 20 pallets for Bank of Uganda, there was extra cargo of 5 pallets on the said plane that didn’t belong to Bank of Uganda but that it was 100 percent not printed money.
He testified that however this placed the 1,400 boxes of 70 million notes of Bank of Uganda printed currency at a risk because he didn’t expect the printing company, “Oberture Fiduciaire” to allow a plane carrying Bank of Uganda cargo to also carry other materials.
He mantains that Bank of Uganda could not have permitted it.
He further testified that as he was trying to identify BOU cargo from the extra cargo on the plane, he came across some inscriptions on the packaging that read Spare Parts, Communication Equipment, Personal Effects and Consolidated Items among others but that Gloria Achan a witness attached to Customs URA Entebbe International Airport would be in the best position to disclose to Court the source of the extra cargo.
However in cross-examination by Malinga’s Lawyer Joseph Kyazze, the witness has told court Charles Malinga Akol didn’t play any role in the transportation of this cargo the fact that he was away on leave.
Further hearing of this case has been adjourned to 23rd and 30th March, 2021.
The accused persons have since denied the allegation and are coming from home to attend trial (out on bail).