Tired of the rampant theft at its currency centers, Bank of Uganda has come out with new guidelines for operations in the currency centers. The new guidelines are aimed at improving security and vigilance within the currency centers.

The new guidelines come on the backdrop of a reported theft of old currency notes by staff at Mbale currency center. Last week, news reports were awash with details of how staff at the Mbale currency center orchestrated the theft of currency notes thought to sum up to hundreds of millions of shillings.

The newly constructed Mbale currency centre

In a letter dated September 2, 2019, BoU acting director of the currency directorate Dr Bazinzi Natamba said the guidelines are intended to mitigate risks and strengthen controls at currency operations. One of the rules issued is that no note examiner should access a counting/machine room of another currency branch without authorization. The other is that no staff other than note examiners should participate in the counting/machine room activities such as sorting, punching and strapping of stocks.

All currency centres are also required to ensure that the daily CCTV recordings are reviewed. Wastebaskets or boxes placed in counting rooms have also been banned. This is because staff have reportedly been using the wastebins to ferry out the currency notes. Also, eats and drinks have been banned from the counting room.

Bank of Uganda has been in the media for the wrong reasons for the past one year. From the closure of Crane Bank to allegations that staff printed extra cash and then the theft of currency notes at currency centers.

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