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    Minister Kasaija, Muhakanizi To Know Their Fate Over Shs727Bn PTA Loan Today



    By Stella Mugoya: Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija along with the Secretary to Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi are set to know their fate over misappropriation of over Shs720M meant to purchase drugs for National Medical Stores (NMS) today.

    The decision will follow a debate on the floor of Parliament following an investigation carried out by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that recommended the firing of the Ministry’s top officials. An investigation conducted by PAC, led by Angeline Osegge (Soroti Woman MP), into the acquisition and utilisation of the USD200M approximately Shs727,832,761,440 loan (at current exchange rate), uncovered evidence that revealed that although the funds were received by the Ministry, the intended beneficiary NMS didn’t receive the funds.

    Despite the fact that the report had been completed in August 2017, it didn’t feature on the Parliament order paper until the report came up for presentation in January 2018.
    Top among the recommendations was the call to have Kasaija censured. “For misleading the House to believe that the most critical funding objective was medical supplies, lying to Parliament in writing that NMS had never provided the needed supply contracts to enable disbursment of funds and further duping Parliament by re-packaging the same loan thus obtaining money by false pretense, the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija must be censured,” the report read in part.

    However, after the report was presented, Kasaija, who had earlier been described as a “hostile witness” after he declined to appear before PAC during the investigations, asked the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah to allow him present his evidence before a decision on the matter is taken. Kasaija begged, “I want to be given an opportunity in this matter to explain. I would like Parliament to create good time for me to bring all the evidence, facts and where I have faulted I will apologize, I’m sure I have done what I ought to have done. Therefore, I would request that you give me an opportunity to give my response.”

    Oulanyah obliged to Kasaija’s pleas and allowed him to present his evidence, plenary sitting was adjourned up to 30th January 2018, when the matter is expected to come up for discussion again.
    On the other hand, it wasn’t only Kasaija that put up a spirited defence over the accusations labeled against him, but Muhakanizi too filed his defence.
    For Muhakanizi, his sins come after it was discovered that he lied to the Committee that the loan was acquired for purposes of stabilising the exchange rate with the approval of Bank of Uganda, a claim the Central Bank vehemently denied as false.

    Muhakanizi who was a former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PTA Bank is accused of acting out of selfish interest, by insisting on acquiring the loan despite objections from the Central Bank Governor and the Accountant General, who protested against the loan arguing that the loan was not favourable because of its high interest rate.
    Yet with all the accusations and calls to have him relieved of his duties, Muhakanizi scoffed at his tormentors during a media briefing at the Ministry headquarters on 16th January 2018, saying he isn’t going anywhere.

    “I see a number of you make a statement that I am about to be sacked because of the PTA Bank loan. I can assure you I have a contract I will serve it up to the end. Take it from me because I accounted publicly in the papers for all the resources,” Muhakanizi bragged. He explained that the funds in contention were borrowed legally and the whole process passed through the same Parliament that has now turned around to investigate him, arguing he released as per appropriation of Parliament, to all the entities. The Secretary to the Treasury added, “And therefore, I am as clean as I can be. So, all those who have speculated that I am about to go, I am here. It is just wastage of your time, just concentrate on what you are doing. I am here as Secretary of Treasury for some time.” Ahead of the debate on the matter, Kasaija called for backup from his NRM counterparts during a caucus meeting at Office of the Prime Minister, but his pleas fell on deaf ears as many told him to pay for his own sins, with most of them arguing that the time to shield Government officials implicated in corruption had elapsed.
    Glance Into PTA Loan Fracas
    The funds were a loan acquired from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA). The Finance Ministry tabled a request to borrow the funds on 3rd March 2016 with the Ministry arguing that the money was meant to finance development expenditure imports and replace part of the high interest domestic borrowing on 3rd March 2016.

    Although Parliament rejected the loan proposal on 7th January 2016, with the Parliament Committee on National Economy, that was charged with processing the loan stating that Uganda is a member of the International Monetary Fund and is required to borrow to boost government reserves to finance shortfalls in the Balance of Payments if there is an urgent B.O.P deficit needed.
    In the circumstance however, Parliament found no urgency with the loan request since at the time (December 2015), Uganda’s reserves were worth 3.9 months of imports and this did not demonstrate any urgency to Uganda as its import cover is above 3 months of the import cover benchmark of the IMF, Parliament said while rejecting the loan proposal.

    Parliament’s decision to reject the loan followed a warning by the Central Bank Governor who wrote to the Minister of Finance on 2nd February 2016, objecting to the loan noting that the primary motivation for contracting the PTA loan was to stabilize the exchange rate in the face of temporary shocks, yet Balance of Payment were not purely temporary. In his recommendations, the Governor said that given the fact that Bank of Uganda had more than sufficient foreign exchange reserves to support these interventions; with the reserves in the Bank coffers at the time amounting to USD2.8Million and therefore did not require additional resources mobilised from the PTA Bank, and more so a loan.

    The Ministry of Finance however bounced back again and presented the same loan proposal for the second time on 6th April 2016, but this time around, the title of the proposal had been changed and highlighted that the loan was intended to provide medical supplies by NMS. The Ministry of Ministry of Works and Transport and Rural Electrification Agency were the other intended beneficiaries and the loan was approved by Parliament on the 26th April 2016 with signing of the loan agreement on 26th June 2016.

    It wasn’t long before National Medical Stores requested for USD68Billion after suffering numerous budget cuts and severe depreciation of the shilling against the dollar. And on 30th November 2015, Muhakanizi admitted the funding constraints and told NMS that the loan was being processed by Parliament, although by The situation continued to get out of hand and by 10th May 2016,
    NMS hadn’t received a penny and reminded Muhakanizi of the USD68Million supplementary budget. This time around, Muhakanizi said the money would be provided in the FY 2016/2017 and went on to demand NMS to submit procurement contracts for items with foreign currency requirements for FY 2016/2017, a request NMS abided with.

    In a letter dated 27th April 2017 to the Minister of Health, copied to NMS, the Minister of Finance stated that a sum of Shs7Billion had been provided as a supplementary in 2016/2017 and that Shs20Billion had been provided to NMS as arrears in 2017/2018. This time around, the Secretary to Treasury cautioned NMS should get medicines on credit worth Shs41Billion.
    According to the Committee investigations, Muhakanizi’s letter stating that Shs41Billion will be availed in the next FY2016/2017 was a confirmation that the money had not been given to NMS, despite the loan having been received by Government.
    Now, the Committee has called to have the USD200Million be recovered, re-consolidated to NMS to be used for purchase of medical supplies.


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    Property Dealer Kamoga Survives Prison Over Fraudulent Multi Billion Land Deals…



    Muhammad Kamoga the proprietor of Kamoga Property Consultants

    Muhammad Kamoga the proprietor of Kamoga Property Consultants situated along Entebbe Road has been charged before Entebbe Chief Magistrate Court and released on bail on the allegation of masterminding fraudulent multibillion land deals.

    According to the State, Kamoga was accused of fraudulently acquiring a prime piece of land measuring 200 acres in two villages in Katabi Town Council near Entebbe Municipality in Wakiso District.

    Before his arrest, State through the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, George William Byansi had directed Maj. Dr. Tom Magambo the Director of Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID)  to arrest Kamoga and present him before the Chief Magistrates Court at Entebbe.

    According to the charge sheet, Kamoga is facing charges of forgery, uttering a false document and obtaining registration by false pretense.

    It is alleged that on May 7, 2021 at Wakiso Lands office, Mr. Kamoga with intent to deceive forged a transfer form dated May 7 in respect to land on block 435 plot 8 purporting to have bought it from Bibangamba Peter which was false.

    State contends that Kamoga also forged a transfer form dated February 8, 2021 in respect to land on Block 435 in regard to 105 plots.

    The land broker is also accused of uttering a false document where it is alleged that he submitted the said forged documents to the Registrar of titles purporting it to be signed by Bibangamba whereas not.

    According to the state, Kamoga willfully procured for himself registration of disputed land under the registration of titles Act by falsely pretending that the same was transferred to him by Bibangamba.

    The charges result from complaints regarding four plots on land on Block 435 at Bukaaya Village in Katabi Town Council, Entebbe.

    Bibangamba is accusing Kamoga of subdividing his land into more than 100 plots and transferring them into his names and later on selling them off without his consent.

    “Charges of GEF 308/22 and CRB 556/2022 should be prepared as guided above and forwarded to Resident State Attorney (RSA) Entebbe for further action,” reads the document received at the CID on September 4.

    According to the complaint, in 2021, Bibangamba engaged Kamoga to recover his land from occupants who had become a big problem to him.

    It is alleged Bibangmba and Kamoga signed a Memorandum of Understanding accompanied by powers of attorney to enable the latter to execute the assignment.

    It is alleged that Kamoga held meetings with squatters, opened boundaries of the land and negotiated with some of them and even took one of them, J.P Cuttings to Bibangamba and sale was concluded.

    “However, thereafter Kamoga proceeded and subdivided the entire land into several small plots and transferred most of them into his own names and then sold them  without the knowledge or consent of the complainant or the affected occupants”  Bibangamba states.

    Efforts to get Kamoga were futile as his known telephone number was switched off.


    By Grapevine Reporters


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    NCBA Bank In Spotlight Over Fraudulent Advert With Intent To ‘Deal’ Top Lawyer’s Multi-Million-Shilling Property…



    NCBA MD Mark Anthony (R) and a copy of Tibeingana's letter to the bank

    A city lawyer and property mogul has accused NCBA Uganda of trying to defraud him of value by selling his prime property in Kampala by employing underhand methods

    Deox Tibeingana, also a property developer, accuses NCBA Bank Uganda of trying to sell off his property by maliciously advertising the same.  He says that in doing so, they are trying to actualize a fraud.

    On Monday, September 25, 2023, the bank advertised the lawyer’s property in Mbuya for sale in the Daily Monitor, with a call to the occupants to vacate. He attached a letter from the bank granting him 30 days extension from 16th September 2023 but even before the lapse of the days given, the bank was advertising. This obviously means his efforts are now useless.

    For Tibeingana, it raised a red flag.

    “They put up a notice for ‘occupants’ to vacate property knowing that I voluntarily vacated the property under the false presumption that they (the bank) would respect common sense and sell the property by private treaty,” he says.

    Tibeingana reveals that by going ahead to advertise, NCBA bank was cementing its reputation as a financial institution that thrives on other people’s misfortune.

    Tibeingana, who had a financial obligation with the bank, said he approached the bank, when it was still being headed by Mr. Anthony Ndegwa, with proposals on how he could pay part of the loan to a tune of UGX 1 billion.  However, they were unrelenting and he flew to Nairobi at the bank’s head office where he got positive feedback.

    “In Nairobi, they accepted my proposal to sell off the Estates in Kireka to pay off the principal. However, what followed was the most unprofessional and childish display of personal vendetta from the bank. They said that since I had gone to Nairobi, they would frustrate me and refused to accept an immediate part payment of UGX 670m insisting I must pay UGX 1 billion in one lumpsum,” he says.

    Part of lawyer Tibeingana’s letter to NCBA

    According to Tibeingana, it went on for one year with interest accumulating at 36%. Eventually, after frustrating me, the Managing Director called to say he was going to sell off the property in piece meal and had buyers. They became the brokers for my properties and were negotiating with clients to pay them inducements on the side and sold all the property that way.

    Tibeingana also accuses the then MD of meeting up with his (Tibeingana’s) business rival, a notable loan shark, at a Golf Course Hotel, and devising means to frustrate him.

    “I engaged lawyers (Kyazze & Kyankaka advocates), after I got wind of the MD’s meeting with the loan shark. They put it to him that since I had constructed the apartments and had shown steps to create value and pay the bank, their scheme was bound to fail,” he says.

    He recalls that in 2020, he requested the bank to release to its lawyers the land title for plot 8A Mbuya Road so he could create condominium titles to sell the houses he had constructed and pay the bank.  They refused his request for 6 months while his account ran on penal interest.

    According to Tibeingana, the bank eventually relented but he had to first raise 10% of the agreed sum before he could get the title. After depositing UGX 250M, the title was released and the condos created.  “I was able to pay the bank UGX2.5Billion in 30 days after selling 5 of the 43 condos that were created.  Upon payment of these monies, It was another battle to get my titles released as management was “too busy” to sign all the 38 mortgage releases,” he narrates.

    Tibeingana recalls that on two separate occasions, officials from the bank approached him proposing a gentleman’s agreement to sign sham mortgage documents of UGX 3.88bn and UGX 3.97bn in a period of 3 days to fool BOU auditors. He further narrates that “…I was shocked to later learn that these too had been registered against my properties as legal charges. It was against that fact that I filed a suit to challenge the thuggery of the bank,” he says.

    He reveals that out of the UGX3.5b lent to him by the bank, he has so far paid back more than UGX7.5b, but the bank now claims they are still demanding UGX 1.6bn.

    “We reached an agreement and I vacated the building so that the bank could tour prospective buyers after they declined my offer to participate in disposal of the property. Hardly a week has passed and the bank is keeping with its culture of advertising a property under a mortgage Act, whereas the agreement was a gentleman’s deed to sell under the insolvency act by all players,” he says.


    By Grapevine Reporter


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    How Bad Economy, Politics Forced Monitor Publications MD Glencross To Seek Early Retirement, New Vision’s Don Wanyama Warns Shareholders…



    NMG Managing Director Tony Glencross

    Professor Samuel Sejjaaka, the chairman Board of Directors Nation Media Group (NGM), the publishers of Daily monitor newspaper revealed that the search for the company’s Managing Director has kicked off after Tony Glencross tendered in his early retirement prayer and it was allowed.

    In the Statement, Sejjaaka stated that effective from 31st December, 2023, Glencross will be officially retiring and as per now, the board is undertaking a competitive recruitment process to identify a suitable replacement.

    South African born Glencross joined Monitor Publication in 2015 and has spearheaded its transformation from print media company to a multimedia company.

    Highly placed sources at Nation Media told theGrapevine that politics and the bad economy forced Glenscross, a former Commercial Officer at Vission Group, to retire. A source said that the company has failed to recover from the economic shock that many companies are currently suffering from as a result of the Covid-19 long lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine war.

    The monitor paper circulation has since declined because the pockets of most readers are yawning due to the bad economy.

    There is also the issue of bad politics. Insiders allege that Glencross has been working under pressure especially from top government officials who are always attacking the company for working against the government.

    On several occasions, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni declared Monitor a ‘bad paper’ to the extent of suing the publication over defamation.

    In Monitor’s legal battle with Museveni, Justice Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division of the High Court ordered them to pay Shs300m as damages to the President.

    Museveni always alleges that Monitor publication is working for bad foreign agents.

    A source at Monitor further revealed that the newspaper’s private advertisement has dropped yet government is also taking long to pay for their adverts.

    Glencross’ early retirement comes days after New Vision Managing Director Don Wanyama warned the company’s current and prospective shareholders of an impending loss for the year 2022/2023.

    Wanyama based his announcement on the “preliminary assessment” of the company’s performance by the Board of Directors, which is expected to return a loss for the year.

    He explained that the company’s bad performance is as a result of the recent price hikes of inputs like; newsprint and other raw material inputs resulting from global supply chain disruptions.

    He added that the company’s revenues are dominated by printing which accounts for almost half, followed by broadcasting (radio and television) outlets, commercial printing and others.

    “The main contributor to this performance is the challenging business environment due to slow business recovery from the COVID-19 impact on newspaper sales and advertising revenue spent across the different platforms,”  Wanyama stated.

    Highly placed sources at both Monitor and New Vision intimated to theGrapevine that plans are underway to cut on the number of staff and costs of operations.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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