Forgery alert: Inside plan to doctor Crane Bank sale minutes

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Crane Bank

By Kagenyi Lukka

There have been a series of clandestine meetings between top Dfcu officials and Central Bank’s management echelons over how to forge and backdate minutes concerning the sale of Crane Bank in order to close a share capital sale deal, multiple sources within the banking sector, have revealed.

The aim of these closed door meetings, sources further say, is to find mechanisms of circumventing past and daunting illegal transactions that saddled the sale of Crane Bank in order to pave way for Dfcu to sale its stake to a frugal international investor.

Dfcu investors, Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) want to close an urgent deal with the Danish Investment Fund for Development Countries, which will see them sale a 9.97% stake.

Victoria University

However, the stumbling block is the fact that there are no documents of Dfcu dealings with Bank of Uganda, including those supporting the sale of Crane Bank, which is a key ingredient that the financially frugal investor, wants to be ticked before they can ink the deal.

Sources familiar with the meetings have revealed that through crooked lawyers, Daudi Mpanga of Bowmans and Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS, a series of meeting have been held between Dfcu and BoU, to find mechanisms of forging minutes or at least find a way of sanitizing the fraudulent sale of Crane Bank to Dfcu so that the Danish investors can be hoodwinked into buying a stake.

“BoU and Dfcu transactions in purchase of Crane Bank Limited had no Minutes,” a source said.

“Surprisingly minutes are being manufactured God knows from where, it should be noted that the auditor General requested for these minutes from both DFCU and BOU nothing came out, Parliamentary committee COSASE also asked for these minutes but in vain. Where are these minutes coming from, is it possible that Mpanga is working his Black Magic over these minutes,” the source added.

This development has sprung up many questions than answers.

So, why would Dfcu go into the murky endless game of forging the minutes?

Where will Dfcu generate the backdated minutes?

And why would the crooked lawyer, Daudi Mpanga be so eager to craft these minutes yet it is so clear to the public that Dfcu has no minutes?

What is on record is the fact that two investigations regarding the illegal sale of Crane Bank have come up with one conclusion: no minutes.

The Auditor General’s report and Parliamentary Probe on the fraudulent sale of Crane Bank indicated that there were no minutes.

When MPs probed the further matter, it was revealed that Crane Bank was sold via WhatsApp!

In fact the former chief executive officer of Dfcu, Juma Kisaame, told MPs during the probe that the Central Bank invited them to buy Crane Bank on phone!

So, if indeed Crane Bank was sold on WhatsApp by the three musketeers, former deputy governor, Dr. Louis Kasekende, former director supervision for commercial banks, Justine Bagyenda and BoU head of legal affairs, Margeret Kasule, then the bigger question that is still hovering over the transaction, is: “where are these people, Dfcu, BoU and their crooked lawyers Mpanga and Kanyerenzi, going to manufacture the minutes from?”

In fact, BoU officials themselves told Parliament during probe that they didn’t have minutes regarding the illegal sale of Crane Bank.

So, where will Dfcu get these minutes from?

It is therefore evident that conspiring with Dfcu top management to generate minutes will not help the Central Bank at all.

If the buyers have asked for minutes, the sensible thing to do is to own up and tell the truth that we don’t have the minutes, and that the acquisition of Crane Bank, was fraudulent!

This fraud and conspiracy that was engineered against Crane Bank in order to bring it down has started to haunt them, and their days, especially those of crooked Bowman lawyer, Mpanga, are over.

In fact, several reports, including the forensic audit report on Bank of Uganda by the Auditor General, John Muwanga, discovered that over sh200b remains unexplained following the controversial and illegal sale of the defunct Crane Bank to Dfcu bank.

The alleged payment of sh20b legal fees to city lawyers, David Mpanga of A.F. Mpanga Bowmans and Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS Advocates for advice of Crane Bank sale, is the other questionable payment that the Central Bank ‘donated’ to these lawyers for ‘no’ work.

Last year Parliament also conducted a special investigation into the mismanagement of the Central Bank and the controversial sale of commercial banks, including Crane Bank, and recommended that contracts of the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy, Kasekende should not be renewed over the mismanagement of the Crane Bank sale transaction.

The MPs in their report of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) also accused the top echelons of the central bank of mismanaging defunct commercial banks.

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

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