As governor Bank of Uganda, Leo Kibirango was known for his decisiveness and willingness to take bold decisions, even those that at times angered the powers that be.
Stories are told of how he used to irk Dr Milton Obote especially when the president wanted to nose into the internal affairs of the central bank.
Now as chairman of the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), Kibirango is facing accusations that are opposite to these virtues.
He has been accused of trying to derail FIA’s investigations into the bank transactions of Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director, the central bank.
FIA indicated in March that it was on Bagyenda’s trail but after months of lack of progress, FIA’s executive director, Sydney Asubo, last week was quoted in the press as saying that he needed more time.
“They seem to suggest that FIA is not showing results just two months after we commenced investigations,” said Asubo.
Asubo’s remarks come in the wake of a petition by activists under the umbrella Youth Power Uganda to Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda over the matter.
Latest information indicates that Kibirango is under fire for having failed to put his foot down over Bagyenda’s investigation.
Bagyenda sits on the FIA board by virtue of her central bank role but Kibirango who served as governor between 1981 and 1986 had been expected to ask her to recuse herself from the board.
So far, he has not done this.
“What we are seeing is Kibirango dragging his feet on something that should have been yesterday,” said one of our sources.
Bagyenda has been in the spotlight after the bank account transactions estimated in billions of shillings leaked to the media.
Several institutions especially Diamond Trust Bank and Barclays Bank apologized to Bagyenda over the leaked bank accounts and sacked implicated officials.
She is yet to speak out on the matter although people close to her say she denied any wrong doing.
Bagyenda officially retires from Bank of Uganda this month.