By Andrew Irumba and Benson Tumusiime
DFCU Bank might have succeeded in acquiring defunct Crane Bank Ltd (BCL) but it may take long to settle down the bank’s (CBL) ghost as it keeps popping up and haunting them in mysterious ways. As we talk now, another mischief has knocked on their door, this time being led by a whole reknown city lawyer- Isaac Ssemakade of Center for Legal Aide!
This time round, over 400 hundred former employees of the defunct bank, through their lawyer have petitioned the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) to investigate the DFCU bosses over alleged money laundering!
One of those they want investigated is now the outgoing managing Director Juma Kisaame and other top officials they suspect could have influenced the impromptu ‘illegal’ takeover of their former work station, and they suspect huge sacks of money exchanged hands the why some bosses now have unexplainable huge amounts of money on their accounts.
“We represent a court-certified class of more than 400 former workers of Crane Bank Ltd upon whose instructions we address you as hereunder. Our clients are in possession of documents obtained from the print press, Internet and social media that Indicating that Mr Juma Kisaame, the managing director of DFCU bank, the holder of Account No. 01087990270 with Bank of Africa Uganda Ltd has 40,000,000 (United States Dollars Forty Million Only), we suspect this could be part of the deals made during the illegal takeover of Crane Bank. The purpose of this letter is therefore to request the Authority to inspect all bank accounts held by or in trust for Mr Juma Kisaame and other executives of DFCU Bank, and to cause an investigation into whether the said executives or their personal bankers committed any money laundering offences in the takeover of Crane Bank Ltd to the detriment of our clients and the public at large,” read part of their letter drawn by their lawyer Ssemakadde.
The workers also copied to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) The Director, Criminal Investigation and Directorate of the Uganda Police Force
While addressing the media on Wednesday last week at hotel triangle in Kampala, Mr.Ssemakadde together with some former employees of Crane bank, said that they had all the reasons to justify that Mr. Juuma Kisaame could have engaged in illegal activities to justify the influence and purchase of Crane Bank by DFCU bank.
According to the petition, the transactions on the above mentioned account are inconsistent with the holder’s legitimate earnings as the bank employee.
“The withdraws on the account are complex, highly unusual and no apparent or visible economic purpose,” read letter in part.
It is also alleged that that Mr. Kisaama withdrew 500’000 USD on Tuesday, 400,000 USD on Wednesday, 300,000 USD on Saturday making a total of 3,700,000 USD. He also made two instalments of 1,200.000 USD and 2,500,000 USD respectively on the following Monday.
The suspicious transactions occurred shortly before DFCU bank controversially took over Crane bank Ltd. This increased their suspicion that Kisaame could have made a kill out of thus dubious transaction that has since sunk them into more troubles.
The former Employees also accused the DFCU bank Management for illegally terminating their job contracts without following the employment act.
Before the takeover, the central bank had assured the 700 employees that they would not lose their jobs. However, after DFCU took over the bank in January 2017, they sacked some of the employees in a disputed restructuring exercise and closed some of the branches.
According to the court documents, the former employees said their sacking contravened the Employment Act (2006). They are now seeking compensation from the bank amounting to over shs 480 billion, together with the central bank.
The lead petitioners are; Therine Kate Achan, Teddy Akullo, Janet Mector Angwena, Mactose Arinaitwe, Edward Bukenya, Dianah Loy Kiwumulo, Abbey Mivule, Benjamin Muchwa, Robert Mwanje and Emmanuel Ngororano.
Their lead counsel Mr.Ssemakadde told the media that he has given Bank of Uganda and DFCU only 45 days to have intervened and set the days of settlement or else they will proceed to court.