Why should dfcu take Shs48b taxpayers’ money over illegally acquired property?

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By Kagenyi Lukka

Dfcu was reluctant to transfer into its name 48 properties it controversially acquired from Crane Bank.

The reason, it is said, was hinged on fear that Bank of Uganda may fail to acquire the said properties from Dr. Sudhir Ruparerelia, the owner of Meera Investment Ltd.

However, when they consulted lawyers from Sebalu & Lule Advocates, Dfcu accepted the juicy carrot.

Victoria University

Not knowing that the carrot was tainted and laced with illegalities, Dfcu took charge of Meera property. They even set up Dfcu branches in those buildings.

According to the asset purchase agreement between the Central Bank and Dfcu, the Bank of Uganda had 24 months to recover the 48 properties from the Central Bank and Crane Bank under receivership.

Fast forward, the tables have turned. The juicy carrot that Dfcu illegally acquired has turned out to be sour.

Like any astute businessman, Dr. Sudhir in the High Court Civil Suit No. 948 OF 2017 (Meera Investments Ltd v Dfcu Bank Limited and the Commissioner for Land Registration), challenged the transfer of property, rightly describing the transaction between the Central Bank and Dfcu as an illegality and an attempt to grab land.

Recently, court agreed with Sudhir and the commercial court dismissed a case against him over the properties.

The court held that the 48 properties were illegally transferred to Dfcu, adding that they belong to Meera Investments Ltd.

To any commercial analyst, this was expected, and I will not dwell much into it.

However, what is shocking is that to sanitize this illegality, Dfcu is seeking sh48b from the Central Bank.

This means that for each of the 48 properties that Dfcu acquired illegally, the tax payers’ will pay sh1b.

But why would tax payers pay sh48b to Dfcu for vacating property that was first of all acquired illegally from Crane Bank? And second, given the fact that this property was acquired at 10% of the total investment that Dfcu injected into the acquisition process of Crane Bank, it does not make sense for the bank to be paid sh48b tax payers’ money for vacating Meera properties?

In any case, it is Meera Investments Ltd, owned by Sudhir that should be compensated by the Central Bank and Dfcu for illegally occupying their premises hence curtailing their source of income from the buildings!

Where is justice?

Yet despite all this well-orchestrated syndicated by the Central Bank and Dfcu to illegally acquire Sudhir’s property, it is the businessman, who has got the last laugh.

Indeed, as the Central Bank and Dfcu continue to wash their dirty linen in full glare of the public limelight, more shocking details will emerge on the illegal dealings between these two allies (Bank of Uganda and Dfcu) in dirty deals.

Indeed if Dfcu has accepted that it had indeed illegally acquired the property, why then is the Central Bank paying them?

 Even the bank’s surrogate ally, Bank of Uganda, also accepted that Meera Investment Ltd property was illegally transferred to Dfcu, when it acquired Crane Bank in 2017.

So, why then don’t you pay Sudhir for acquiring illegally his property?

Any sane person cannot just watch tax payers’ money go down the drain like that.

That someone commits an illegality, and then they turn around and ask for compensation. What kind of illegality is this?

Courts in this country have held that once an illegality is detected or proved in court, every transaction conducted by a person found to have participated in such fraud, is stripped.

However, in the case of Dfcu, we are seeing that the fraudsters are seeking for compensation of sh48b.

What kind of impunity is this?

Indeed, I would like to ask, using the words of popular music star, Eddy Kenzo: “Uganda Government; where are you?”

The writer is a current affairs analyst and aspiring MP Ikiiki County in Budaka district 2021.

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