Crime & Investigation

Stanbic in the Spotlight as Minister Kibuule ‘Punches Guard’  

Minister Ronald Kibuule

Stanbic Bank has come under pressure for not taking a firm stand against State Minister for Water and Fisheries, cheapest http://citrusresearch.org/wp-admin/includes/network.php Ronald Kibuule after reportedly assaulting the financial institution’s female guard.

Hellen Obuku, erectile http://cotro.com/wp-includes/feed-atom-comments.php an employee of Security Group was Friday on duty at Stanbic Bank Mukono Branch when Kibuule refused being subjected to a security screening as is the practice with all customers.

Obuku said she asked Kibuule why he was opposed to the security check only for the minister to hurl insults at her.

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According to a statement recorded at Mukono Police Station, Obuku said Kibuule barked at her.

“He shouted at me not to come closer with the metal detector, saying he would punch me because as a minister he could not be checked. He even refused to identify himself. When I insisted that he should be checked, Kibuule boxed me in the chest,” cried Obuku.

Kibuule forced his way into the bank before calling police which arrested Obuku.

Kibuule reportedly oversaw the arrest, warning Obuku he would not tolerate any familiarity of a government minister.

Obuku said police asked her to seek forgiveness from the minister but that she stood her ground, saying she would not feel sorry for doing her work.

Amid this controversy, Stanbic Bank’s Managing Director Patrick Mweheire has written to the controversial Minister apologizing for the “inconvenience” and “embarrassment” caused by the security screening.

Mweheire wrote: “I wish to convey my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and embarrassment this might have caused you.”

He added: “The private security guard involved in this incident is not a Stanbic employee. We have communicated with the security company to remedy this problem going forward.”

Ugandans on social media expressed concern that the Bank’s chief executive did not in any way show sympathy to the security guard.

Mweheire concluded his letter: “I wish to thank you for your continued support and reassure you that we shall continue serving you with the high standards you have come to expect at Stanbic Bank.”

Defending the minister

Kibuule is yet to speak out on the incident.

However, his associates say he insisted that on being checked by a male guard only for the female guard to become aggressive.

“Kibuule did not want to be checked by a lady. That’s why he entered the bank without being checked. After his transactions, he went to his car but Obuku followed him. The Minister even showed her the Parliament I.D.,” recounted a source close to Kibuule who preferred anonymity so as to speak freely.

“The guard was unnecessarily aggressive. Kibuule decided to call Mukono District police to contain the situation before driving away. The guard collapsed after coming under intense questioning by detectives. She was not punched at all.”

Reaction

Meanwhile, Ugandans have since called for a deeper investigation into the matter with others threatening to close their accounts with Uganda’s largest bank.

Balaam Barugahara, a wealthy events promoter, posted on social media: “I have decided to close my Stanbic bank account for that action. And all my associates I advise you to do the same. I have seen Museveni checked at a church service who is the minister? Everyone must be checked.”

He added: “Slapping a poor woman on duty is unacceptable and subsequent apology is by Stanbic bank it’s double standards. I have moved and seen many cabinet ministers including First Family who allow to be checked and at times drive in traffic jam without causing unnecessary commotion case.”

He called for respect of institutional systems.

Ronald Muhinda, a journalist, observed: “I have never refused to submit myself for any security check. Ugandans just don’t want to be checked. It’s worse for showy guys like Kibuule. He must have thought the guard knows him. I have seen how women are rude to those female security guards. I am inclined to believe the private security guard is innocent.”

Trigger-happy guards  

The Parliament’s Public Relations Officer, Chris Obore called for the checking of guards’ powers.

“It is easy to condemn the minister because he is a public figure not expected to lose temper. And of course he has had his fair share of controversies. However, it is improper to conclude that the guard is innocent,” said Obore in a Facebook post.

“Most times banks use security guards to deal with customers. I have argued before that letting guards handle customers is one stupid thing banks in Uganda do. These guards, more often than not are too rude. They intimidate customers under the guise of security,” he added.

Obore cited a recent case of a security guard who shot dead a lecturer who had gone to the bank to pick money.

“I don’t condone what the minister is said to have done but I am pointing out the fact that security guards are also trigger happy. Just recently, one shot dead a lecturer in Gulu who had gone to pick money from an ATM. The lecturer pleaded with the guard in vain. Is that policing we want? Most times these guards in banks harass those who don’t tip them,” he added.

Ian Oswald observed that the incident must have happened in the vicinity of the CCTV.

“They should make public the video and copy to police to clear the bank’s name or else whatever they and you say will not be received by us. We know the arrogance that comes with these ministers.”

Kibuule, a polygamist, is no stranger to controversy. He at one time said no arrests should be made after indecently dressed women are raped.

The comments caused a backlash from human rights activists who demanded an unconditional apology from the minister.

Kibuule, a wealthy real estate mogul, remained defiant in face of stinging criticism for looking down upon women.

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