A concerned citizen of Uganda, Derrick Nsereko, has issued a notice of intention to sue Bank of Uganda seeking declaratory orders on failure to supervise Crane Bank before selling it to DFCU bank.
Nsereko also wishes to ask the Inspector General of Government [IGG], Irene Mulyagonja, and Police to commence criminal investigations and proceedings against officers of the central bank.
Through his lawyers Kashilingi, Rugaba and Associates, Nsereko says BoU has since 1995 regularly given Crane Bank a clean financial bill of health and even defending it publically for keeping a good financial record.
“It will be recalled that sometime in 2016, the Governor of the Central Bank stated that Crane Bank had a clean financial bill of health,” Nsereko points out, adding, “The Central Bank has either failed in exercising its statutory mandate in supervising the management and affairs of CBL or the officers of the Central Bank colluded with the management of CBL in doctoring reports of sound financial health of CBL.”
In notice copied to BoU Director Bank Supervision, Justine Bagyenda, Nsereko said as a result of BoU’s failings, neglect of duty or intransigence, Crane bank was largely owned by one individual contrary to the provisions of the FIA, had several fraudulent remittances undetected by the Central Bank.
He says the bank in turn did not remit colossal amounts of money to the National Social Security Fund thereby depriving workers of their retirement benefits inter alia.
In October 2016, BoU governor, Emmanuel Mutebile, finalised the takeover of Crane bank prior owned by city businessman, Sudhir Ruparelia, putting it under receivership in January 2017 and transferring its assets to DFCU Bank.
Sudhir is accused of causing $92m fraud in total and personally embezzling over Shs400bn.
New Vision also dragged to court
Meanwhile, a city businessman Godfrey Kirumira, has also issued a notice of intention to sue the Vision Group owned and state-run New Vision for serialising a story implicating him in Sudhir’s embezzlement of Shs400bn from Crane bank.
Kirumira’s lawyers Tumusiime, Kabega & Co. Advocates say New Vision and its sister Luganda paper Bukedde serialised a story implicating their client in Sudhir’s fraud, saying the stories were false since Kirumira is neither a shareholder nor a director at Crane bank.
The lawyers say the articles caused embarrassment to their client and should be retracted immediately or they take the matter to court.
BoU, New Vision being used?
A critical report circulated on Wednesday claiming that a “cartel of powerful political and economic hit-men is hiding behind the forensic investigation of the defunct Crane Bank to fight President Museveni and Sudhir Ruparelia”.
This group is reportedly “waiting to make a killing from the woes of the defunct bank, fronting a bill of Sh400billion as having got lost from the bank as Sudhir allegedly single-handedly orchestrated a raid on the third biggest bank”.
It is this group accused of leaking a forensic report of a six months audit to New Vision newspaper, according to Watchdog Uganda which says ever since the takeover of Crane bank, Museveni ensured depositors don’t lose their savings.
“A cartel working to fail Museveni’s efforts to the restitution of the weak economy were however not happy with the deal, and have gone for two purpose mission; embarrass Museveni and Sudhir, while aiming to a killing from the settlement,” the NGO said.