By Kagenyi Lukka
Bank of Uganda this week agreed to hand dfcu bank more 24 months to occupy freehold properties of Meera Investments Ltd.
This resolution was signed by the central bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, his deputy Dr. Louis Kasekende and legal director Margaret Kasule this week.
Meera Investments Ltd is a company owned by city tycoon Dr Sudhir Ruparelia whose Crane Bank Ltd was controversially closed three years ago.
Mutebile signed off the extension for dfcu bank to stay on properties that are still a subject of a double court contention.
BoU in October 2016 closed Crane Bank Ltd and sold it to dfcu Bank in January 2017 for Shs200bn.
dfcu also received some of the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank and has since been operating in different branches whose ownership belonged to Meera Investments Ltd.
Bank of Uganda also took Dr Ruparelia to court to recover Shs400bn from him and 48 land titles that housed Crane Bank branches.
Dr Sudhir’s lawyers Kampala Associated Advocates argued that under the Land Act, the closed bank cannot own land and that it used an expunged process and false records.
The case is still in courts of law and Dr Sudhir’s claims have so far been proven by the findings of the Auditor General and Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises [Cosase] who found out that the closure of Crane Bank and six other banks, breached several provisions of the Financial Institutions Act 2014 and was therefore illegal.