Why do African Leaders cling to power? Why has African leaders remained silent yet the events in Burundi are inching closer to a genocide?
That aside, here is Jaindi Kisero’s take on #Eurobond.
With the National Treasury having published bank statements where the Eurobond proceeds were deposited in both London and New York on its web site, we can now track and trace how the money moved from those off-shore accounts.
One needs to read the documents that have been dumped on the Treasuryâ€™s web site together with bank statements and correspondence contained in the bundle that it handed to the Public Accounts Committee to understand the whole matter.
The journey of the Eurobond proceeds starts from JP Morgan in New York, where the first $2 billion was deposited on June 24, 2014.
What strikes you first is that the mandates for operating this JP Morgan account, including the names and photographs of the signatories to the account, were signed on June 27, three days after the money had been received in the account. A minor detail? Maybe.
Basically, only three transactions are shown in the bank statement. First, an electronic withdrawal on July 3, 2014, of $604 million to Standard Chartered Bank of London to settle the syndicated loan.
The second one is another electronic withdrawal of $395 million on the same day.
The paper trails show that this money was transferred directly to the Consolidated Fund, as required by the Constitution â€” a fact acknowledged in the auditor-generalâ€™s report for 2013/2014.
This begs the question: Why not just transfer the whole amount to the Consolidated Fund on the same day?
A balance of $999 million remained idle in the JP Morgan account for two months, until September 8, 2014, when the account was closed and the money transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
There are no bank statements from this off-shore bank account because details of wire transfers of money from this account are excluded from the bundle. Admittedly, a swift transfer document for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York appears in the bundle of documents.
But apart from the fact that this document does not tell you how the money moved from this account, a large part of the document has been blanked out, rendering it totally unhelpful. It, therefore, becomes almost impossible to account for the $999 million.
Without bank statements and details of wire transfer activity from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, you lose track of the money.
The only documents you can rely on at this stage are the National Treasuryâ€™s own papers introduced in the bundle to advance a self-serving narrative on how the money moved into the country.
Key to the National Treasuryâ€™s narrative are seven one-sentence letters by the accountant-general directing the Central Bank to transfer huge chunks of cash into the Consolidated Fund between September 15, 2014 and June 2015.
But do these one-sentence letters cause actual transfers of Eurobond receipts into the Consolidated Fund, as directed by the accountant general and claimed by the National Treasury? The jury is still out.
The pertinent questions are the following: If the money was transferred to the Consolidated Fund, as claimed by the National Treasury, why are all transfers ordered by the accountant-general in the one-sentence letters not captured in the books by both the auditor-general and the controller of budget?
FACING CASH CRUNCH
Why should we believe the National Treasuryâ€™s narrative in the face of a contrary opinion expressed in the records of the constitutionally-mandated gatekeepers of the Consolidated Fund?
An even more pertinent question is: Why was $999 million left idle in a bank account in New York from July 3, 2014 to September 8, 2014, at a time when the government was facing a severe cash crunch back home?
In December 2014, the government went back to the Eurobond market for the so-called tap sale, where it received $815 million.
This money was banked at Citi Bank in New York. The statements from Citi Bank show that the proceeds from the tap sale were transferred directly to the Consolidated Fund, as acknowledged by the controller of budgetâ€™s report for 2014/ 2015.
My parting shot: If the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is truly interested in getting to the bottom of this matter, it must demand statements from the Federal Bank of New York. Clearly, the math on the Eurobond proceeds still do not add up.