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Corrupt People Disturb Investors Like Parasites, I Will Deal With Them – Museveni Commissions Fertiliser Factory

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President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to deal with corrupt officials because they disturb investors like parasites and stifle economic growth.

While commissioning the first phase of the Uganda-China Free Zone of International Industrial Cooperation project in Tororo yesterday, the president said, “Uganda will undoubtedly become prosperous but I know we must fight corruption. Those engaged in corruption will be dealt with. They disturb investors like parasites. We are going to lock them up. It is a simple fight once we have evidence.”

The first phase includes an office living base, mineral dressing plant, phosphate fertilizer plant, unbaked block plant, machine repair centre and a laboratory centre.

“In my Economics class at high school, I learnt about the four factors of production; land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. While Uganda is endowed with natural resources and affordable labour, we do not have much capital nor entrepreneurs . This is where the partnership with China comes in handy.

I thank the Chinese government for support extended to us through investors like Guangdong Dongsong Energy Group, which was mobilised by Ugandans living in China and their counterparts living here to come and establish this project.

The Chinese government does not only support these money-making projects, but also supports infrastructure. These factories need electricity and the Chinese have supported us in the construction of Isimba and Karuma dams.

I am told that when operating at full capacity this Sukulu factory needs 120 megawatts, which is nearly all the power currently generated at Owen Falls Dam (180MW). That is why the government intends to construct more dams,” the president noted.

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SUDHIR/BOU WARS: The Naked Truth Exposed: Falsehoods Sudhir’s Fans Told Vs. Bank Of Uganda’s Kasekende

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L-R: Bagyenda, Sudhir, Edith Kasekende and husband Kasekende

Being the tycoon he is, there is little surprise that Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has many fans and supporters operating in the social media space. These have nowadays been very active character-assassinating BoU officials they see as being responsible for the collapse of his Crane Bank empire. One of the biggest victims is Dr. Louis Kasekende, his reclusive wife Edith Kasekende and his former BoU workmate Justina Bagyenda. Sudhir’s supporters have uttered many things on social media targeting Dr. Kasekende and his wife who should be less concerned about the husband’s public position. One of the most notorious falsehoods is that Edith was being used as a conduit to coordinate funny deals between the Deputy Governor and some of the law firms BoU hired to prosecute the Sudhir case and to also finalize the sale of CBL and the recovery of USD80m from Sudhir and other CBL shareholders. It has been peddled that Edith Kasekende was dubiously hired to offer HR consultancy services for BOWMANS which is one of the law firms BoU had retained for the Sudhir case.

THE NAKED TRUTH;

The truth as established by Grapevine is as follows; sometime in 2013, BOWMANS suffered severe staff exodus and this was at a time the South African partners were buying into the firm and coming on board to boost its global profile. Many employees were leaving and this scared the South African partners. Price Watershouse Coopers (PWC) which is an HR and audit firm in Kampala was approached and hired to help restore sanity at BOWMANS. Francis Kamulegeya who heads PWC deployed Mrs. Baliddawa to head a team of consultants to help BOWMANS come up with better strategies to ensure staff retention or else the AF Mpanga firm then based at Workers House risked losing the BOWMAN partnership. Mrs. Baliddawa did some work and set up systems and even recruited an HR Manager for BOWMANS. This was a lady called Dorothy from Shell Uganda. She then went ahead with creating strong HR systems to ensure staff retention and talent attraction for the law firm. In her report, Mrs. Baliddawa pointed out why even when they were given instant salary increment, young lawyers still insisted on quitting AF Mpanga. The lawyers still quit even after the crowded Workers House office was abandoned for more spacious DFCU Towers. After sometime, Mrs. Baliddawa quit PWC and went into retirement. She left in place a team of young consultants carrying on the work at AF Mpanga/BOWMANS and this lasted several months for which PWC experts were paid a retainer. Meanwhile Edith Kasekende was also working with PWC and on Mrs. Baliddawa’s recommendation, Francis Kamulegeya deployed her to boost the teams working for BOWMAN to establish strong HR systems. That is how she came to work for AF Mpanga in her own right as an eminent HR practitioner and not as wife of Dr. Kasekende.

BOWMANS WORKING FOR SUDHIR;

By the way, this way before the AF Mpanga/BOWMAN lawyers ever got to be involved in any work relating to Sudhir and BoU. The truth is the law firm only worked for Sudhir during the takeover of Amama Mbabazi’s National Bank of Commerce by CBL. Fred Muwema, representing the NBC owners, used Justice Steven Kavuma to get a strange court order against CBL bosses including the MD Kalan, the DMD and Sudhir himself. He accused them of contempt of court that they went on to take over NBC operations even when there was an order restraining such as issued by Justice Kavuma. There was panic at Crane Chambers and city lawyer Alex Rezida (a director in CBL) recommended that AF Mpanga would handle that Muwema case on behalf of CBL. He led the AF Mpanga lawyers to Crane Chambers late evening and instructions were issued inside Sudhir’s office. The case was worn and the AF Mpanga attorneys moved on. That is the only deal they ever had with Dr. Sudhir who sometime back accused them of conflict of interest. Muwema’s client NBC had brought contempt of court criminal proceedings against both CBL and BoU which was separately represented by MMAKS. Then much later on, the same AF Mpanga came to do some work for BoU as external lawyers after some diplomatically powerful representatives in Kampala got concerned and insisted on AF Mpanga’s inclusion on the team of lawyers to pursue the CBL saga. Justine Bagyenda, the strong Mukiga lady who was at first very uncomfortable with the AF Mpanga law firm on grounds that it had represented Kizza Besigye and other FDC honchos in high profile cases, was instructed to add AF Mpanga on the list of BoU’s legal team to pursue the CBL matter. She directed PWC to closely work with the firm in carrying out a forensic audit on CBL and this angered the Sudhir camp. That forensic report became the basis for the CBL’ sale to DFCU which took it after other bidders became disinterested in seeing the bank’s vulnerable situation (it had just UGX1.5bn against depositor obligations stretching over UGX1trn). This was long after Edith Kasekende had been working for BOWMANS as HR consultant. Even after quitting PWC, after Francis Kamulegeya communicated that PWC would be scaling down on HR practice to concentrate on its core function which is audit, Edith Kasekende maintained a consultancy relationship with BOWMANS and all this clearly had nothing to do with Dr. Kasekende or any dealings regarding CBL. On starting her own company, she still occasionally moved in to support and supervise other teams on ground working to ensure the BOWMANS HR functions worked well. Of course she would be paid by BOWMANS for her services and it’s these payments that Sudhir’s fans misconstrued for being a conduit for money to her husband Dr. Kasekende.  Because they wanted to make Dr. Kasekende look shady and dirty, they also deliberately misrepresented Edith’s bank statements to exaggerate her bank balances as if she is a billionaire whereas not. She simply kept fixing her own retirement benefits package in order to get some interest at the end of the banking year but Sudhir’s fans made it appear she was damning rich.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST CLAIMS;

But there has also been claims of conflict of interest being propagated by Dr. Sudhir’s supporters. But there is one glaring case they never speak about. Ernest & Young which OAG John Muwanga hired to do the latest audit report on BoU had for some time back accumulated an axe to grind with Bagyenda. As the powerful Director supervision, Bagyenda had denied E&Y business a few years ago and struck them off the list of audit service providers after they missed submitting very important pre-qualification documentation.  And here was the same firm being tasked or hired by Muwanga to audit BoU decisions including those that occurred at a time Bagyenda was in key authority and decision-making positions. Its hard ruling out this being an opportunity to settle an old score against Bagyenda and other heavyweights at BoU.

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SELFISH: How Sudhir Badly Frustrated Bank Of Uganda Talks, Kenyan Crane Bank Shareholder Feared Being Arrested On Ugandan Soil

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Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia

Shocking secrets have come out showing how Crane Bank proprietor Sudhir Ruparellia frustrated BoU on the talks the President had directed in order to protect him against being prosecuted for criminally mismanaging his own Crane bank.

Sources have told this website that when BoU moved in to control the mess and Crane Bank and protect the clients who had their money there, they discovered that the bank had only Ugx1,500,000,000 in its possession. This was against depositor obligations of more than Ugx1trn.

That’s how Price Waterhouse Coopers auditors discovered things which had gone wrong. BoU had to stabilize the economy by using its own capital (and that’s how BoU became insolvent) to make sure depositors didn’t get to know that their money had been diverted to other things creating liquidity problems for Crane Bank Ltd which forced BoU to come in and solve it. This was dangerous because Crane Bank was the 3rd largest bank in Uganda at that time. Sudhir and other shareholders were supposed to be arrested and prosecuted which never happened because Museveni pleaded for them.

Instead, BoU agreed that Sudhir and other shareholders must repay the tax payers’ money BoU had used, which was in a tune of more than Ugx400bn to cater for the depositors. BoU hired city law firms like MMAKS to recover the money from Sudhir and other shareholders. Meetings would he held at MMAKS headquarters at Diamond Trust. When lawyers wrote to the Kenyan shareholder Rasik Kantaria, he panicked and first feared coming to Ugandan for BoU meetings because he feared he would be arrested because the Crane bank mess was a very big case which in a normal country was clearly going to lead shareholders to Luzira.

The Kenyan-based Indian shareholder later on agreed to come but he was full of fear. A total of USD80m was at stake and BoU hired the MMAKS lawyers to recover it from Crane bank shareholders. The Kenyan shareholder was assured by BoU that he wouldn’t be arrested and that’s why he agreed to come for the meetings.

In the first meeting, the Kenyan shareholder Kantaria cried like a little boy and repented his sins saying he was misled by his business partner Sudhir to embrace the Crane Bank saga. The lawyers told him all was well and all he had to do to escape jail was to pay up to his liability as a shareholder. The Kenyan/Indian shareholder who was escorted by lawyers from a law firm called ABMAK in Kololo thanked the lawyers and immediately agreed to pay USD7.5m not to be prosecuted. Sudhir whose extravagancy is understood to have caused Crane bank liquidity problems also paid USD8m and promised to pay the balance later. The balance was USD65m. When Sudhir failed to get the money, he came back to BoU lawyers and said he had his properties which he was staking to cover the USD65m.

BANK OF UGANDA AGREES

BoU management and board agreed that if he can surrender his properties, then it’s okay. Meetings were held at Diamond Trust building inside MMAKS offices but Sudhir made a U turn and started acting funny. He complained to Museveni that the BoU lawyers were very complicated. The Indian tycoon is understood to have caused Crane bank problems because he was lending to politically exposed entities and these are borrowers who took cash without being able to pay back and yet they are too powerful for the bank to foreclose by way of attaching their security properties. Others were unable to pay because the loans weren’t properly assessed against the amounts sought right from day one. When he was ready with the properties, Sudhir gave a phone call to BoU officials and meetings were held at MMAKS lawyers’ offices. While there, Sudhir’s lawyers shocked everybody when they delivered titles for properties that were legally not good for any value. These included 50 acres of land covering the whole of Kinawataka wetland. The BoU lawyers wondered how anyone can have a private title in a wetland which is supposed to be gazetted public land.

They even doubted there can be 50 acres in Kinawataka.

They refused that title and Sudhir’s lawyer quarreled and stormed out of the meeting. Sudhir also delivered a title for land in the Kitante valley which BoU lawyers rejected because it was similarly a wetland. Sudhir also tendered a title for the land situated in Kololo near Summit view. There was also land for the Nakasero primary school playground and the Kololo School which Bamugemereire is now investigating. The big tycoon was exposed on the Kololo land near Summit View. He gave in the title saying it was his land which BoU can sell to recover Ugandan taxpayers’ money. However, when BoU surveyors reached there they got arrested immediately by SFC soldiers.

They accused them of criminal trespass and made them crawl on their berries. The soldiers kept saying this land belongs to the army. The surveyors were detained for many days for illegally accessing the army land under Summit View barracks in Kololo. BoU top management had to contact the President for the surveyors to be released. The surveyors were so terrified some of them even resigned their jobs and refused to go to any other Sudhir land for similar surveying. Apart from the SFC chasing them away saying this is army land, the surveyors also found that the Kololo land was bad property because it had no regular access road meaning that even if BoU had accepted it, there would be little value because of the access problems. On being told of his weaknesses, Sudhir became even more annoyed and started accusing the MMAKS lawyers of being complicated.

He also reported to the President that the BoU team had refused his land titles because MMAKS MD Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi hates and wants him to die in prison. The lawyers wrote to BoU showing that the properties combined wouldn’t exceed USD13m in value as opposed to the USD45M that was still pending. The lawyers also advised BoU not to accept the properties because the Auditor General and MPs would in future raise a red flag for causing financial loss because BoU would be asked why they accepted wetlands which is clearly public land.

Sudhir made the talks even more complicated when he started demanding that BoU gives him back the titles for properties like Bauman House which used to be an extension of Parliament. Bauman was taken by BoU/DFCU because it’s among the properties or companies of Sudhir which were borrowing from Crane Bank and the rich Indian wanted BoU to return it to him to strengthen his tenancy arrangements with Parliament and later on the Ministry of Justice which now rents Bauman. BoU bosses refused which led to problems and made the tycoon even more annoyed.

The Grapevine strives for accuracy by providing in-depth, objective and non-partisan information if you have a hot story or scandal you would like to share with us, please reach us through 0752 227640, or grapevineug@gmail.com, info@thegrapevine.co.ug.

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We Won’t Refund Your OTT Tax – Finance PS Muhakanizi

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The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Keith Muhakanizi has asked Ugandans to forget about the refund of the 1% Mobile Money tax (OTT) as directed by the president in August.

Muhakanizi says that the money was collected legally and spent legally on services to the Ugandans. He disclosed this during a meeting where he was presenting the 2nd quarter report of Government expenditure at the Ministry of finance headquarters in Kampala today.

Muhakanizi said that Government under the Ministry of finance has released the funds for 2nd quarter of the financial year 2018 /2019 putting much emphasis on effective service delivery. He added that this has been done early before the 10th day so that there is effective delivery services to the public and also eliminate complaints from some ministries when they delay to deliver.

When asked about the growing government debt burden and its implications, Muhakanizi said that there is no cause of alarm and that the government was borrowing for projects that are sustainable to avoid being trapped in debt like what happened in Malawi. Muhakanizi revealed that in the last two months, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has collected 149 billion above the target and that the GDP has grown by 6.1 %, a clear sign that the economy is growing.

Muhakanizi gave the breakdown of the funds released as follows: Wages – UGX 4.2244 billion, Non-wages UGX. 5,309.09 billion, Government development – UGX 5,229.00 billion, Arrears – UGX 380.50 billion, External Financing – UGX 7,734.54 billion among others.

He added that a total of 4.321.1 trillion has been released for quarter two as part of government of Uganda expenditure which reflects 29.3% of the fully approved budget of the government of Uganda excluding external financing, Appropriation in Aid (AIA), Debt, Karuma and Isimba dams.

 

By Remmy Atugonza

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