By Otim Nape
A very huge scandal is sinking East African Development Bank (EADB), which the media has been reported about before, has expanded or escalated to engulf other city banks such as DFCU and Ecobank.
In the recent whistle blower document to the EADB BOD, the EAC finance Ministers and the IGG, the concerned stakeholders privy to the inner workings of EADB make reference to an 8m Euro (close to 30bn) grant that was deposited in EADB by KfW, a German development agency. The money was offered by KfW in order to support capacity building in Ugandan rural enterprises.
EADB Director General Viviene Yeda Apopo then set out to identify partners amongst the local banks through which the funds would be disbursed to intended beneficiaries in rural areas. The criterion was that for a commercial bank to participate it must have a strong presence or branch network in rural areas. There was a panel of experts in EADB which decided the eligibility of the different banks that applied. Among them were DFCU, Ecobank and Finance Trust bank. As the financial institution managing the 8m Euros credit line, EADB was empowered to determine the commercial banks that would qualify for this partnership. The whistle blower states that in their reports, some of the EADB managers objected to DFCU on grounds that it didn’t have sufficient presence in rural areas, making it ineligible to participate in the programme. The same was said of Ecobank which at that time had only four branches outside Kampala and these are still within the Metropolitan area. So it had no presence in rural areas. For that reason the internal EADB assessment report recommended that DFCU and Ecobank should be excluded. Instead it was Finance Trust, whose presence in rural areas is undisputed, that was rated favorably as qualified for the programme.
However, using her unlimited powers as Director General, Yeda the powerful Kenyan Chief Executive ordered that DFCU and Ecobank must participate and indeed the two ineligible banks took the lion’s share leaving better qualified Finance Trust to take the smaller fraction of the money.
This is how the grant was dished out between the three financial institutions: unqualified DFCU got 5m Euros, unqualified Ecobank Uganda got 1.5m Euros and best evaluated Finance Trust Bank got 1.5m Euros. The whistle blower shows that on the DG Yeda’s strong recommendation, DFCU headed by her great friend Juma Kissame nevertheless took the lion’s share as shown above. In the end, KfW the donor became very frustrated because its objective (to support rural enterprises) wasn’t being realized. The two banks DFCU and Ecobank then got stuck with the money with no rural branch network through which to lend it out to intended beneficiaries in rural areas. The whistle blower claims that strangely some EADB bosses could be benefiting from this money being stuck in the two commercial banks at the expense of the poor rural enterprises. Whereas DFCU and Ecobank got the money in July 2015 they didn’t managed to significantly lend it out as was intended by KfW. This has left KfW more frustrated with the indifference of the current management at EADB. For the case of Ecobank for long it didn’t manage to give out even a coin and the DG Yeda wasn’t complaining! In its case DFCU tried disbursing the money but the performance for long remained miserable.
As recently as a few months ago, Juma Kissame’s DFCU had only given out 10% of the 5m Euros EADB’s Yeda gave them. It has emerged that the concerned EADB staff and managers had preferred channeling out the 8m Euros through smaller banks like Finance Trust because they emphasize rural enterprises but the Kenyan DG Yeda objected without giving any plausible justification. Indeed there are indicators Finance Trust was the best suited for such funds: as of January 2017, the Katwe-based financial institution had done so well giving out over 90% of the 1.5m Euros it was given. Yet to frustrate smaller banks from the 8m Euros deal, DG Yeda imposed hard conditions aimed at frustrating them not to qualify for big monies if they were to qualify at all. The DFCU management tasked Marketing Manager Jude Kansiime to manage the PR problemsrelating to this Kfw scandal after the German embassy expressed concern about the mess at EADB.
A source within DFCU who is friendly to Yeda said; “We have a number of funding arrangements and confidential agreements with our funding partners and these can’t be discussed in public. Indeed what you are talking about is one of the many partnerships we have and cherish and as far as we are concerned we haven’t breached any agreement terms with EADB or even KfW. We aren’t aware of any breaches; at least they haven’t communicated it to us.” Sources in the German embassy say that the angry KfW bosses want to quit and recently brought in IPC consultants to audit the performance of their 8m Euros project and advise on the way forward.
There is also another KfW Fund for agri-businesses which line EADB managers want halted until Yeda leaves EADB. They have petitioned Finance Minister PS Keith Muhakanizi to that effect and are waiting
for his action. However, action is unlikely because Muhakanizi is among those EADB BOD members who believe in Yeda’s indispensability. Muhakanizi, who represents Uganda’s interests in EADB BOD, says Yeda
has done so well under the circumstances and he doubts anybody would have done better.
FUNDERS (AfDB) BITTER
In a related development, details have emerged as to why African Development Bank (AfDB; EADB’s major funder and shareholder) isn’t happy with the way DG Yeda is running the show. In a recent
communication to EADB, AfDB points out areas where reforms must urgently be undertaken if AfDB is to continue funding EADB. Signed by Samuel Mivedor, one of the top AfDB Directors, the three page report
accuses DG Yeda of a number of things. The report warns of impending calamity should the BOD bosses like Muhakanizi continue overlooking audit, management, procurement and HR-related scandals crippling EADB. These are briefly listed to include failure to stick to the July 2013 “Letter of Agreement” and its provisions. The letter required EADB to urgently recruit a project coordinator, financial specialist and a procurement expert of qualifications acceptable to standards set by AfDB. AfDB is also demanding recruitment of FAPA Coordinator besides utilizing the training budget meant to build capacity for the Bank’s personnel. AfDB doubts EADB’s continuity without undertaking the badly needed staff development programs. On staffing, AfDB wonders why, despite having the money, EADB still has only two portfolio officers managing over 70 multi-billion projects. It also wonders why Yeda for long refused to recruit a Corporation Secretary on top of the Finance Manager, FAPA Coordinator and the Environmental Specialist portfolios which have been vacant for such a long time. The report wonders how anyone can talk about institutional governance in absence of the CS. AfDB is also bitter that EADB’s portfolio department is deliberately understaffed forcing staff who are there to originate projects and monitor them at the same time. This compromises internal controls on these projects. Yeda is also criticized for over relying on consultants for such a long time instead of building EADB’s internal staff capacity. AfDB also protests the manner in which the procurement of the Credit Risk Consultancy firm was handled some time back whereby the deal was awarded to a firm or bidder that was thrice more expensive than the others.
AfDB is also concerned why the EADB top management has for long comprised of only the DG Yeda to the exclusion of other top managers and departmental heads. “This doesn’t reflect best management practices and corporate governance” says the AfDB dossier that was originally meant to be considered at EADB BOD meeting. AfDB was also furious as to why DG Yeda sometimes overturns management committee decisions without any justification. Stakeholders are also frustrated at the fact that EADB is almost the only financial institution in Kampala operating without any regulatory supervision.
Its charter is such that not even Mutebile’s Bank of Uganda can intervene. Not even the IGG who has previously been petitioned by concerned stakeholders. Those calling for serious reforms are intrigued that EADB appears to be an institution shielded against any manner of scrutiny since the BOD long time ago collapsed under the weight of DG Yeda as has been showed in past petitions to the EAC Council of Ministers. For long EADB staff members have lived under fear after DG Yeda reacted to past petitions by calling in cyber forensic experts from KPMG to help in tracing who of the staff could have authored the whistle blower dossiers against her. The KPMG guys would spend much time collecting hard disks of EADB office computers, intimidating and quizzing staff regarding what they know about the whistle blower’s identity. Ironically, the Ugandan Laws including the Leadership Code-and even EADB’s internal policy-protect the whistle blower against any persecution or witch-hunt. Besides the KPMG witch-hunt, the EADB management also wrote to Fred Yiga’s Interpol seeking their cooperation and authorization to order Ugandan, Rwandan and Kenyan telecom companies to surrender all EADB staff phone records in order to identify the whistle blower. Scared staff reported to the IGG fearing the worst from DG Yeda “This place has for a long time looked like a prison. It’s always been tense and the endless whistle blower reports have been making things even worse” said a source at EADB. Because most of the BOD members come from outside Uganda(Rwanda, Kenya & Tanzania) Yeda believes she can do mischief and go scot free. BOD members have many times met EADB staff behind Yeda’s back to try to verify the contents of the whistle blower dossiers.
Uganda has two BOD representatives who are Keith Muhakanizi and Fountain Publishers proprietor James Tumusiime the representative of the private sector.
To comment on this and other grapevine articles, call or sms editor on 0755973863, 0772098226 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Property Dealer Kamoga Survives Prison Over Fraudulent Multi Billion Land Deals…
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
NCBA Bank In Spotlight Over Fraudulent Advert With Intent To ‘Deal’ Top Lawyer’s Multi-Million-Shilling Property…
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.
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
How Bad Economy, Politics Forced Monitor Publications MD Glencross To Seek Early Retirement, New Vision’s Don Wanyama Warns Shareholders…
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.
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