Last Tuesday, State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule assaulted a security guard at a Stanbic Bank Uganda branch in Mukono, according to the Daily Monitor. Mr. Kibuule lost it after the female guard insisted that he undergoes a security check before entering the bank, insisting that he should not be checked because he is a minister.
According to the guard’s supervisor, the minister beat the guard and entered the bank. Mr. Kibuule, however, denied that version of events and said he had only “cautioned” the guard. He added that the bank had actually apologised to him for the “embarrassment” the incident caused him.
A letter circulating on social media shows that Stanbic Bank indeed apologised to the minister. Signed by the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Mweheire, the letter conveys “my sincere apologies for inconvenience and embarrassment this incident might have caused you.” It continues: “We have communicated with the security company to remedy the problem going forward.”
The gesture did not go down well with social media users, who feel the wronged party is the security guard not the minister.
As part of its CSR activities, Stanbic bank apologised to Hon. Kibuule after him slapping a guard diligently doing her job
— Nuwagaba John Paul (@nuwagaba_john) August 28, 2016
So Stanbic just apologised to Kibuule for the embarrassment the female guard caused him. Let me take some tea #KibuleMustGo
— Joaninne Nanyange (@LeJoaninne) August 28, 2016
— Fredrick Tumusiime (@tufre80) August 28, 2016
— Pamela Ankunda (@Pamankunda) August 28, 2016
I think the issue isn't the Stanbic apology as the fact that in this day and age an MP will slap a woman and the public wont get outraged
— Colin Asiimwe (@spartakussug) August 28, 2016
— Dr Busingye Kabumba (@bkabumba) August 29, 2016
The consensus on social media is that the guard was simply doing her job by insisting that the minister is checked first before he enters. Especially since it is bank policy that all customers have to be subjected to checks before they can access the banking hall. The bank’s official Twitter account sent out a tweet to that effect.
@jbyarabaha Thank you for your inquiry. All our clients are supposed to be checked by security before they enter the bank.
— Stanbic Bank Uganda (@stanbicug) August 27, 2016
Parallels are being drawn to another Kibuule controversy in 2013 when he was still junior minister for youth affairs. Kibuule said women who are raped while “dressed poorly” only have themselves to blame, and “no one should be arrested” for the crime.
Kibuule thinks women in mini skirts cause rape. He turns violent when a female security guard touches him. #WhenPeopleTellYouWhoTheyAre…
— Lydia Namubiru (@namlyd) August 28, 2016
Minister #Kibuule once said miniskirt-clad women deserve sexual assault. Now he says Women who work as security guards deserve phys. assault
— Bernard Sabiti (@BernardSabiti) August 28, 2016
Even then, it is not only Stanbic Bank siding with Mr. Kibuule. The guard was picked up by the police after the minister reported that she had “manhandled and abused” him. She was arrested and released after recording a statement. The guard later opened a case against Mr. Kibuule, who was not arrested.
We have contacted Stanbic Bank Uganda for their comment on the incident, particularly their CEO’s letter to Mr. Kibuule. We will update as soon as they respond to us.
Update: In a statement posted to Facebook today, Mr. Kibuule denies beating the security guard. “First of all, what i did was to caution this girl that I couldn’t be checked by a female, her fellow guard called Maxwell was their and saw what exactly happened,” the statement says. “On the same note, the bank apology had a basis as to why they did so, not because am a minister or rich as some were claiming.”
Update: Stanbic Bank Uganda has released an official response to the incident on their social media channels. “We would like to address the unfortunate incident that occurred at our Mukono Branch involving one of our customers and a private security guard. We appreciate that this has been an unpleasant experience for all parties concerned.
“It is important to note that Stanbic Bank has reached out to both of them and has expressed our sympathies and apologies for the incident. This is customary when negative incidents occur at any of our customer touch-points and a complaint is raised. By no means have either apology apportioned blame, nor have we concluded the outcome of the current investigations into the matter.
“As an organisation, we are committed to ensuring the security of our staff, contractors and customers as their wellbeing is paramount to us. To that end, we are continuously working with security to ensure that all personnel can successfully complete their duties, even when faced with compromising situations.”