By Kagenyi Lukka
Our country suffers from elite dishonesty. Elite dishonesty manifests itself in various ways; from the way the elites handle public and private offices, their involvement in corruption, abuse of office, land grabbing. Elites also tell lies to impress their sponsors, cover up their bad deeds by quite often misrepresenting facts. Thanks to the media space allotted to them by both electronic and print media.
Joseph S Kitamirike, the former Chief Executive Officer at the Uganda securities exchange may not fall in the first category of dishonest elites but falls among those that alter the truth to cover up dark spots. Also our closes indicate that he is a close of Justine Agenda and Louis Kasekende.The two highhandedly presided over the collapse of Crane bank.
In the daily monitor of 8th May 2018, under the article Crane bank: What is this noise, he tries to effortlessly justify the donation of crane bank to dfcu bank at a paltry cost of 200 billion Ugandan Shillings.
He needlessly used the same opportunity to launch scathing attacks on business mogul, Dr Sudhir Ruparelia by insinuating that he led to the collapse of crane bank by diverting money to his other businesses in real estate.
Other than trying to become an expert of crane bank matters, Kitamirike ought to have explained to the readers why up to now, Uganda Securities Exchange has less than 20 companies has listed.Kitamirike was until 2013,the Chief Executive Officer at the struggling USE.
He rotated around the giveaway of Crane bank looping in a dichotomy of winners and losers and painted a picture that crane bank was irretrievably insolvent and its loans were too bad. What he doesn’t answer however is whether it wouldn’t have been cheaper to save crane bank or make the acquisition process more transparent.
On winners and losers,Kitamirike,with much insult calls Dr Sudhir Ruparelia a winner.` In an uncanny way, by letting the bank collapse and not diverting capital from his other businesses, the first winner in the resolution of Crane Bank transaction is Ruparelia. This is insulting.
Whereas Sudhir was the majority shareholder, Crane bank had other shareholders who were not given any chance to recapitalize crane bank. Despite having strong collateral/, Bou denied shareholders a loan.
On whether crane bank was doing so badly as opined by Kitamirike, it is still a subject of economic debate because facts speak a different language. The recently released report on banking indicates that dfcu profits after tax grew from negligible shillings 45.3 billion to 106.2 billion in 2017.How was this possible?
Of course crane bank had a network of about 170000 depositors who among were potential borrowers as well. Here, we can’t forget Crane bank’s asset base of over 1.3 trillion shillings.
On non-performing loans, Crane bank wasn’t as badly off as Kitamirike and the representatives of those that closed crane bank have projected. This is why!
In 2014, Standard Chartered bank had a non performing loan portfolio of about 200.8 billion shillings of the industry portfolio of 477 billion shillings and it was not hastily taken over and donated as the case was for crane bank. In 2013, Standard chartered bank had 120.1 billion in NPL out of the total portfolio of 411.5 billion. I wish Kitamirike can address the double standards exuded here.
In summary, Crane bank wasn’t as badly off as projected by the Kitamirike’s.It was instead a design by a few hideous individuals to fight Dr Sudhir Ruparelia and they ended up exposing themselves as insatiably greedy. This is why the auditor general has been instructed to undertake a forensic audit into the same exercise that Kitamirike sings praises for.
Kagenyi Lukka is a current affairs analyst and an aspiring MP,Ikiiki county.