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    We Have Not Licensed Any Person Or Company To Offer Such Services – BoU Blacklists Use Of Cryptocurrency In Uganda …



    Bank of Uganda says it has not licensed any institution to sell cryptocurrencies

    Bank of Uganda (BoU) has revealed that it has not licensed any company or any person to offer cryptocurrency services in Uganda thus cautioning the public not to get involved in it.

    Andrew Kawere, the acting director of the national payments system noted that this is in line with the official government position as communicated by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in October 2019.

    “This is to advise that Bank of Uganda has not licensed any institution to sell cryptocurrencies or to facilitate the trade-in crypto-currencies, ” Kawere said.

    Many Ugandans, especially those in urban centers seeking a supplementary income and the unemployed have invested in cryptocurrencies to make extra cash. However, BoU said it is a big risk and several Ugandans have lost millions of money in such fraudulent transactions.

    According to BoU, there are several media reports and adverts telling the public that they can convert cryptocurrencies into mobile money and vice versa which is not true.

    “We are also aware that such a conversion cannot happen without the participation of the Payment Service Providers or Payment System Operators,” BoU noted.

    The Central Bank has consequently warned all licensed entities under the National Payment Systems Act, 2020 to desist from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.

    “Bank of Uganda shall not hesitate to invoke its powers under Section 13(1)(b) and (f) of the NPS Act 2020 for any licenses that will be found in breach of the above directive,” BoU added.

    In 2019, the Finance Ministry stated that despite the emergence of the practice of using, holding, and trading in cryptocurrencies in the country, the holders bear the risk since the same is not issued or regulated by any government or central bank in any part of the world.

    The ministry clearly noted that the government of Uganda does not recognize any cryptocurrency as legal tender in Uganda adding that it has also not licensed any organization in Uganda to sell crypto-currencies or to facilitate the trade-in crypto-currencies and so these organizations are not regulated by the government or any of its agencies.

    It also added that unlike other owners of financial assets who are protected by government regulation, holders of crypto-currencies in Uganda do not enjoy any consumer protection should they lose the value assigned to their holdings of crypto-currencies, or should the organization facilitating the use, holding or trading of crypto-currencies fail for whatever reason to deliver the services or value they have promised.

    Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are designed to effect electronic payments without the participation of a central authority or intermediary such as a Central Bank or licensed financial institution.

    Cryptocurrencies may be used to effect anonymous electronic payments or bought and held for speculative purposes in the expectation that their value will rise at a future time, whereupon they could be sold for a profit.

    However, this digital payment system doesn’t rely on banks to verify transactions presenting a risk to members of the public.

    Crypto-currencies tend to change value rapidly over time. While holders of crypto-currencies may make profits when their value rises, they will be exposed to losses when their value falls.

    The nature of crypto-currencies makes them attractive for use in criminal transactions such as money laundering, sale of prohibited goods and services, and fraudulent ventures such as Ponzi and pyramid schemes.

    According to records, over 1,000 Ugandans lost over Shs.3 billion in online digital transactions between 2018 and 2020 to fraudulent cryptocurrency dealers.

    Victims from Kampala, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Bushenyi, Ibanda, Kagadi among other parts of the country lost billions of money when the companies abruptly closed and the known dealers disappeared in thin air and authorities have nothing much to do since such online transactions are not regulated.

    Several cases have been reported to police but all in vain since the dealers tend to erase all their details and records after taking billions of money from their victims.


    By Kobusiinge Monica



    Travellers Left In Shock After City Businessman Dies On Ethiopian Airlines Flight From Dubai…



    Travellers and staff at Entebbe International Airport were on Tuesday afternoon left in panic mode after a businessman identified as Yusuf Kulembera died aboard Ethiopian Airlines plane minutes after it landed at Entebbe International Airport.

    Without revealing the cause of his death, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCCA) spokesperson, Vianney Luggya, noted that doctors confirmed Kulembera’s death upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport.

    “The passenger arrived aboard Ethiopian airlines that touched down at 1:47 pm. The doctors checked and confirmed his death. The body was then taken to City Mortuary Mulago, Kampala for postmortem,” Luggya confirmed.

    According to reports, Kulembera, a resident of Nkumba, Katabi Town Council in Wakiso District was flying to Dubai for business.


    By Kobusiinge Monica


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    Why Money Lender Is Auctioning Bitature’s Multibillion Posh Hotels, Tycoon’s Lawyers Reveals Next Step…



    Tycoon Bitature (Top R) and some of the properties that the money lender wants to take

    Vantage Mezzanine Fund 11 Partners, a South Africa money lending company through their lawyers of M/S Kirunda & Wasige Advocates have hired the services of Quickway Auctioneers & Court Bailiffs to auction properties worth billions belonging to city tycoon Patrick Bitature, the proprietor of the Simba Properties Investments Companies Limited.

    In an Advert placed in Wednesday’s Daily Monitor newspaper, the Court Bailiffs informed the debtor Bitature that he has only 30 days to pay the amount of money with interests borrowed from their client otherwise his properties will be sold off through auctioning.

    Among the properties which the set to be sold include Protea Hotel-Naguru (Skyz Hotel), Elizabeth Royal Apartments and Moyo Close Apartments.

    Bitature’s troubles started in 2014 when he secured a $10m loan from Vantage Mezzanine and he used the said properties as security.

    However, Bitature’s lawyer Fred Muwema rubbished the said auctioning claiming that it is illegal and violates the laws governing the auctioning process.

    The advert in today’s Daily Monitor auctioning Bitature’s properties

    The furious lawyer even threatened to sue the Daily Monitor for advertising illegal and malicious information against his client claiming that the matter was settled in Justice Musa Ssekaana’s ruling.

    He insisted that High Court judge Ssekana refused to allow the auctioning and advised both parties to wait for the pending judgement before the High Court Commercial Division in Kampala.

    Vantage Mezzanine dragged Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB), Simba Properties Investment Company Limited, Simba Telecom Limited, Linda Properties Limited, Elgon Terrace Hotel Limited to court for failing to transfer the mortgaged properties into their names.

    When Bitature failed to pay his loan, Vantage started the process of transferring the shares of the mortgaged properties but URSB refused to implement the process that is why they were also sued.

    In their suit, Vantage wanted a Court declaration that it was illegal for URSB to refuse to register documents lodged to transfer the mortgage.

    However, Bitature through his lawyers wants Court to declare that it was illegal for Vantage to register the transfer until the completion of the Commercial Court matter.

    An affidavit from Moses Muziki, on behalf of the applicant stated that on 18th June, 2021, the applicant lodged documents relating to the transfer of shares in Simba Properties Investments Company Limited, Simba Properties Limited, Linda Properties Limited and Elgon Terrace Hotel Limited.

    He added that the respondents did not comply with the law and did not provide the applicant with a satisfactory reason for not registering the shares and their lawyers learnt that the respondent’s lawyers were requesting to halt the process.

    “This Court would have issued an order of mandamus compelling the applicant’s request to consider the registration of their documents on merit or advance reasons for denial or refusal to register the same in accordance with the law,” the judge ruled.

    Muwema based on the above ground to protest the process of auctioning their client’s properties.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    Ministry Of Works Lifts Suspension On Link Bus Company After Accident That Killed Over 20 People In Fort Portal …



    The government has agreed to lift the two-week suspension that had been imposed on Link Bus Company after the accident that claimed over 20 lives and left several others severely injured in Fort Portal last week.

    According to the preliminary report from the investigation done by the Ministry of Works and Transport, the accident has been attributed to a human error on the side of the bus driver.

    Following the deadly accident, the government consequently suspended Link buses for a period of two weeks for investigations into what could have caused the accident.

    However, on Friday, the Minister for Works and Transport Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala revealed that the government has finally lifted the suspension.

    “Having gone through all the processes and convinced that Link Bus has taken the necessary process to address the challenges and have put in place measures to address gaps that were there, we have taken the decision to lift the suspension against Link buses,” Gen. Katumba said.

    “They can start going back to the routes and also address some of the gaps created by their absence,” he added.

    He said the decision to lift the suspension was reached after the bus company offered to pay the bills for burial arrangements and medical treatment for the dead and injured respectively.

    Gen. Katumba has thus noted that only buses and drivers that have been verified by the ministry will be allowed to operate.

    The lifting of the suspension comes as a relief to both members of the public and the bus company that has been anxiously waiting for this especially parents with students going back to school.

    Following the suspension of the bus company, the other bus companies plying the routes that Link buses were operating had taken advantage and hiked prices due to the influx of passengers and a number of passengers were on several occasions seen stranded after the suspension was announced.

    “We should avoid road carnage because it has adverse effects on families, overstretching health sector and economy. It is my appeal that all users are responsible while we use the road. As a driver, consider yourself the only sensible person on the road. You must know there is a vehicle in front, front the sides, behind and Boda Bodas,” Gen. Katumba cautioned.


    By Kobusiinge Monica


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