By Spy Uganda
Dr.Sudhir Ruparelia, the majority shareholder of closed Crane Bank Ltd has advised the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise (COSASE) to recommend to the powers that be to immediately sack all top officials currently occupying leadership positions at the country’s central Bank, the Bank of Uganda if [they] want to save the national economy, although he didn’t specify whether Governor Tumusiime Mutebile was among those on the list.
Sudhir made this eye-brow raising revelation on Wed.as he and other shareholders of former Crane Bank Ltd lawyers interfaced with the committee to shade light on how their bank ended up in receivership under BoU and subsequently sold to dfcu at a paltry Shs.200B on credit.
Although the Committee Chairman also Bugweri County Mp Abdu Katuntu reminded the city business mogul that it wasn’t the mandate of COSASE to fire BoU top dogs,Sudhir stack to his guns and told him that, since their probe at BoU is about what went wrong at the central bank, it was proper for them to look at the rot holistically and recommend for firing of the top management to who appointing authority, if their probe is intended to save the national economy.
Sudhir also demands $23m (about Shs.584B) in compensation from BoU for illegally closing and selling his Bank.
“Mr.Chairman, our prayers are followed;
1-The appointing authority should immediately fire the top officials of BoU if they are to save the national economy. They’ve suppressed local investors in the sector with impunity.
2- BoU should compensate CBL with $23m for damages incurred, among other demands.
Meanwhile, the committee officials on Wednesday evening threw out dfcu Bank top officials for presenting unauthentic documents regarding the purchase of defunct Crane Bank Ltd.
The officials were appearing before the committee to respond to issues raised by CBL top officials in the morning session, but also to make their case on the on-going saga.
The MPs accused dfcu directors led by board chairman Jimmy Mugerwa for presenting before them documents that were neither dated nor signed.
They were appearing as witnesses in the closure and purchase of Crane Bank Ltd, but as Mr. Mugerwa made a defence presentation in regard to the terms of purchase of Crane Bank Ltd agreement, it was rejected outright for lack of authenticity.
“Its prudent for this committee to throw out the dfcu team because they are so confused and disorganized, they are fidgeting with their own documents. It is in the best interest that dfcu withdraws and reorganizes themselves,” Aruu County MP Odonga Otto fumed.
“In the report, they are valuing Crane Bank assets but without a specific report from the government valuer on how they came into those figures,” Otto submitted.
MPs collectively agreed that dfcu officials withdraw their documents.
It’s then that COSASE chairman Katuntu sent the dfcu Bank team packing, giving them up to Thursday, 10am to return with an authentic document.
The MPs also instructed the Auditor General to institute a forensic audit into the sale of Crane Bank after it emerged that loans worth Shs 600 billion were duplicated. The committee also want the Central Bank officials to explain why they used Shs.478billion to close Crane Bank which needed only Shs 157 billion for capitalization.
The evidence before the MPs, indicates that BoU officials wrote off Crane Bank Ltd loans amounting to Shs600b through unclear circumstances, and Ms Bagyenda’s January 25, 2017 letter to then dfcu Bank Managing Director Juma Kisaame, giving the bank several waivers to evade the rules was also handed over to MPs.
Ms Bagyenda, allowed dfcu 60 days to integrate assets of Crane Bank Ltd, and to report separately on the assets acquired and liabilities assumed from the controversial transfer, presided over by the central bank.
“The non-performing loans and advances acquired by dfcu would be managed and reported on separately from dfcu’s per-transaction balance sheet for the period of at least 12 months,” Ms Bagyenda wrote.
The central bank in October 2016 closed Crane Bank Ltd, previously, one of the best performing local banks before controversially selling it to dfcu Bank in January 2017 for a paltry Shs200 billion.