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Finance (373)

Snubbed By Museveni, Kasekende Pens Farewell Letter To BoU Colleagues

Dr. Louis Kasekende has thrown in the towel after losing hope of President Yoweri Museveni reappointing him as Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda. This comes after officially handing over office on Monday following the expiry of his contract.

In the letter, the outgoing deputy governor said he has made friends at the central bank for the three decades he has worked there and wished his colleagues success. Below is the letter reproduced. 

“It has been a great honour to serve in position of DG for the last 10 years. This is in addition to my first five-year term in the same position that stretched over the period 1999 to 2006.

 I express my profound gratitude to the appointing authority H.E President Museveni for according me the opportunity to serve the bank and to represent the country in various continental and international assignments.

 I also thank the various Ministers of Finance, Governor and the board of Directors of the bank for the support over the many years I have served the Bank.

 Last but not least I would like to thank all for the love and tremendous support during my employment with BoU.

 Excluding the years, I was at World Bank and AFDB, I have spent close to thirty years in total with BoU. Thus many of colleagues have become my friends.

 As I reflect upon my time at the bank. I am deeply grateful for all I have met. Serving our country is a worthwhile experience for all of us. We have jointly achieved a lot and we should be proud of the tremendous progress for our bank and our country.”

Renewable Energy Projects Get ADFD $105m Financing As Recommended By IRENA

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for economic development aid, Sunday confirmed the allocation of approximately US$105 million for eight renewable energy projects under the seventh cycle of its partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility announcement marks a record level of funding for any cycle since the Facility was launched and will provide funding for eight projects in Antigua and Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cuba, the Maldives, Nepal, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The announcement made during the 10th IRENA Assembly brings cumulative funding to date to US$350 million, in line with the commitment made by ADFD across seven funding cycles to IRENA recommended projects.

The Facility supports developing countries in securing low-cost capital for renewable energy projects to increase energy access, improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development on the ground.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: "In cooperation with IRENA, ADFD is proud to have supported the deployment of renewable energy solutions worldwide over several years. In its efforts to boost the implementation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goals 6,7,11, 12 and 13 – ADFD-funded projects over the seven cycles of the Facility have led to the widespread adoption of scalable, clean, and sustainable energy alternatives in 26 countries."

He added: "Today's announcement re-affirms the UAE's and ADFD's leading efforts to combat the effects of climate change by stimulating robust development across the global renewable energy sector. The Fund's commitment to this priority has enhanced long-term growth prospects and yielded socio-economic benefits for millions of lives in line with the national objectives of the beneficiary countries."

Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, said: "Overcoming investment needs for energy transformation infrastructure is one of the most notable barriers to the achievement of national goals. Therefore, the provision of capital to support the adoption of renewable energy is key to low-carbon sustainable economic development and plays a central role in bringing about positive social outcomes."

He added: "The record levels of funding announced in this cycle of the facility will not only support the eight chosen countries in their pursuit of energy and climate plans but will also further global ambitions to build a sustainable future. This facility is a true reflection of the transformational outcomes that organisations with shared goals can deliver when they come together, and provides a blueprint effective cooperation in the future."

In Antigua and Barbuda, an 8 MW hybrid power plant (solar and wind) will receive an ADFD investment of US$15 million. The project is expected to benefit 5,500 households and allows for large reductions in the import of fossil fuels.

In Burkina Faso, an ADFD loan of US$5.5 million will contribute to the construction of a 3 MW solar PV power plant in the country. The project is expected to extend electricity to approximately 40,000 people in rural areas.

In Chad, the ADFD loan of US$15 million will contribute to the construction of a six MW solar power plant. The project is expected to benefit more than 215,000 people in six cities.

In Cuba, a project will receive an ADFD loan of US$20 million to install 8.5 MW of solar PV capacity, supported with 2 MW of energy storage, in Isla de la Juventud. The project will benefit 32,300 people, aims to support the energy sector, decrease fossil fuel consumption, reduce the level of carbon emissions and secure energy consumption from renewable and sustainable sources.

In the Maldives, a waste-to-energy plant project in the city of Addu will receive an ADFD loan of US$14 million. The 1.5 MW renewable energy project will utilise waste in generating electricity and reduce dependence on imported fuel benefitting 35,000 people.

In Nepal, a project will receive an ADFD loan of US$10 million to support a total of 20 biogas digesters which will serve as demonstration units to 270 municipalities. The digesters will convert organic waste into useful energy and offset the use of fossil fuels by replacing it with renewable natural gas.

In Saint Lucia, the 10 MW Troumassee solar power station, battery storage and setting up solar energy systems in the country, will receive an ADFD loan of US$15 million. The venture will support the whole population, economic development, advance the implementation of Saint Lucia's national energy policy and reduce diesel fuel consumption.

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an ADFD loan of US$10 million will support the installation of a 7 MW solar PV project and benefit 2,444 households. The renewable energy venture aims to reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuel consumption and operating costs.

Since the first cycle selection of projects in 2014, ADFD has successfully funded 32 renewable energy projects across the world, covering up to 50 per cent of the total project costs. They will bring 200 MW of renewable energy capacity online and empower over seven million people with access to electricity, significantly improving their livelihoods. Spanning Asia, Africa, Latin America and Small Island Developing States, the projects encompass a broad spectrum of renewable energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass – and technologies.

Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed hundreds of development projects in the renewable energy sector around the world worth US$1.187 billion (AED4.4 billion). Driving the objectives of the United Nations' SDGs, these projects have contributed to the production of more than 2,500 MW of renewable energy in 60 countries.

 

LAST DAYS: Kasekende's Contract As Deputy Governor Expires

The contract of the deputy governor Bank of Uganda, Dr. Louis Kasekende has come to an expected end and if nothing happens between now and Monday, he will have nothing to do but handover the office bringing his 33 years of working at the central bank to unenviable end.

In the past months, Dr. Kasekende has done all that he could, enlisted powerful lobbyist but failed to get the attention of President Yoweri Museveni who is the appointing authority to renew his contract for a third term.

Dr. Kasekende’s glorious days at the central bank came crashing when his name featured in almost all the corruption and mismanagement scandals that have rocked the Bank of Uganda in the past five years.

This has according to political and social commentators have put him in the bad books of the president whose renewed stance on corruption leaves no room to tolerate people who have been implicated in corruption scandals.

This is believed by many is the reason why Dr. Kasekende failed to get an audience with President Museveni to lobby for a contract renewal. Despite the finance minister writing to the president telling him about the state of Dr. Kasekende’s contract, the president has not said a thing.

Dr. Kasekende has been left with no place to run for redemption. All he has not left with is to hand over the office and find a job elsewhere. Surely, with his experience, having worked with the World Bank, he can find a job quickly.

Speculation is that Makerere University Business School Principal Waswa Balunywa will soon be appointed by President Museveni to replace Dr. Kasekende.

Dr. Kasekende served in different capacities before rising to the position of deputy governor in 1999. In 2002, he left the central bank to serve at the World Bank before returning to occupy the same position.

Kasekende Hands Over Office After Failing To Secure Renewal

Dr. Louis Kasekende has fulfilled his contractual obligation and handed over the office which he has been occupying as deputy governor after he failed to secure a renewal from President Yoweri Museveni, the appointing authority, in time.

Reports indicate that Dr. Kasekende handed over office to his boss, Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile on Monday, 13th January 2020, following the expiry of his contract.

Dr. Kasekende has in two spells worked at the central bank for 33 years earning a superlative reputation at the regulatory bank before his name got synonymous with the latest corruption scandals at the bank.

Investigations by police, auditor general and parliament variably blamed top management at the central bank and Dr. Kasekende’s name notoriously featured alongside that of Mutebile, Justine Bagyenda, and others.

Pundits suggest that the deputy governor, Dr. Kasekende failed at his job to ensure that the central bank was corruption-free. Others believe, he orchestrated or participated and MPs on COSASE said in a report last year following an investigation into the closure and sale of seven commercial banks.

Kasekende Finds Scapegoat For His Embarrassing BoU End

The end of Dr. Louis Kasekende’s tenure as deputy governor Bank of Uganda has been in the making and finally the once respected and loved economist handed over office following the expiry of his contract on 13 January.

However, Eagle Online reports that Dr. Kasekende is blaming his unceremonioius departure from Bank of Uganda on Ms Joyce Okello, the central bank’s executive assistant (executive director) to Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the governor Bank of Uganda.

Ms. Okello is the wife to State Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of International Relations, Okello Oryem.

Sources at BoU told Eagle Online that Kasekende blames all his trouble of not being granted a contract extension as the deputy governor on Ms. Okello to whom it is claimed pushed hard to make sure he doesn’t remain at BoU. Sources further say that Kasekende alleges that Ms Okello fought out in order to be appointed as his replacement.

Sources further reveal that at one time a fight almost broke out when a clique of senior staff who are pro Kasekende and another which is pro Mutebile/ Okello. The pro Kasekende clique that had some elements of disgruntled staff who were aligned to former Executive Director in charge of Supervision Justice Bagyenda wanted to rough up Ms Okello claiming she is responsible for misguiding the governor and sideline Kasekende from getting information from his boss.

Kasekende tried without any success to have his contract renewed or extended. He first sent former Minister of Finance, Gerald Ssendaula and other clerics to meet President Yoweri Museveni at his country home in Rwakitura with a view of requesting him to extend it.

Subsequently he turned to Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija persuading them to prevail upon President Museveni to have his contract renewed but the two didn’t do much as they feared it would backfire.

However, with no response, Kasekende shifted his lobbying to a top Catholic prelate in Kampala but the presidency handlers refused to enlist him with Kasekende for a meeting because their agenda wasn’t clear.

Towards the second week of January, he allegedly tried the Vice Presidency but it did not yield fruits before he was crafted by two city lawyers to have him meet the Kabaka of Buganda so as to use the royal family lobby for him but his contract came to an end before any of the schemes could yield fruits for him.

Security Withholds Vital Files From Kasekende As He Made Final BoU Exit As Deputy Governor

It is not the kind of ending that former Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda Dr. Louis Kasekende desired to have when his life at the central bank finally arrived.

It was a mean, rude and embarrassing ending but one that was unavoidable following a precedent that former executive director for supervision Justine Bagyenda set when her tenure at the central bank ended.

Upon handing over of officer, Dr. Kasekende cleared his table of his personal belongings just like anyone leaving an office would do and made his way to exit the Bank of Uganda iconic building.

Eagle Online, quoting sources at the central bank, reported on Tuesday that as Dr. Kasekende’s bodyguard was making a way out of the building with his boss’s bag stashed with documents, security people stopped him on the second floor to check the content of the heavy bag.

“According to sources at BoU, after cleaning his office of any personal belongings, Dr. Kasekende called one of his bodyguards and handed him a bag containing ‘personal’ documents,” Eagle Online reported.

“But what was termed as personal documents were two critical files relating to some undertakings involving BoU and one of the files relates to the Office of Prime Minister (OPM) which saw the former Principal Accountant, Godfrey Kazinda imprisoned,” the online publisher added.

“BoU and Ministry of Finance were heavily implicated in that scam. The second file is reported to be involving a scam to do with compensation in which BoU was put in the spotlight.

“However, as the bodyguard walked out on the second floor of the building, security asked him to search the luggage which he surrendered. As they opened the bag, the VVIP police detectives landed on the documents hence retaining the officer before calling the director security.

“As the scuffle ensued, Dr. Kaseknde’s guard alerted his boss about the incident to which he responded fast and asked why his bag had been opened, the director security interjected and informed him about the security details of the bank,”

But despite Dr. Kasekende’s intervention, security retaining the two contentious files. Other personal documents were put back into the bag and security let Dr. Kasekende and his bodyguard exit Bank of Uganda building quietly.

It should be remembered that when Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director in charge of supervision was clearing her desk last year, she managed to bypass security checkpoints and it was later learned that she smuggled critical documents relating to the operation of commercial banks.

An alert security team this time, well aware that a senior manager was leaving, didn’t take any chance. Security ensured that Dr. Kasekende is searched and any property or paperwork belonging to the bank is not smuggled out of the central bank building.

Kasekende Troubled By Uncertain Future At Bank Of Uganda

The past years, especially from the time they took over and sold Crane Bank to dfcu Bank in what pundit say was a rushed and dubious deal, have been problematic at Bank of Uganda.

And if the public commentary is anything to go by, the problems at the country’s central bank are not to go away anytime soon. The central bank is facing numerous investigations, inquiries, and court suits.

And now, Bank of Uganda, the country’s regulator of the banking sector, as expected, has started the year 2020 on a wrong footing. The contract of the central bank’s deputy governor is expiring and Dr. Louis Kasekende, according to reports is working towards its renewal.

Dr. Kasekende, who started working at the Bank of Uganda in 1986, was highly expected to replace the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile who has aged and deemed unfit to continue in such a sensitive post.

This replacement was bound to happen and had the blessing of the public but for leading the central bank into trouble and causing the regulator to lose billions of money in silly deals, Kasekende is judged unfit for that post.

This harsh judgment is coming when the bank has only days left on his current contract. Nile Post, a local online news publisher, reported that Kasekende’s contract is scheduled to expire on January 13, 2020, while that of his immediate boss, Emmanuel Mutebile expires in 2021.

The Nile Post quotes the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, through New Vision, saying he cannot help with Kasekende’s quagmire as the matter is before Yoweri K, Museveni, the country’s president.

Unsure of his re-appointment, Kasekende is panicking and fearing to lose such a good opportunity and a job in the dreams of any career economist.

Another media report by Eagle Online reported that Kasekende, who is said to have accrued illegal wealth while at Bank of Uganda enlisted the services of former finance minister Gerald Ssendawula and high ranking Catholic clerics to lobby him.

Eagle Online reported that Ssendawula and the clerics met President Museveni at his country home in Rwakitura recently to beg the president to retain Kasekende at the central bank. Not much detail emerged from that meeting.

Kasekende is determined to remain at Bank of Uganda and to achieve this, reports indicate that he used the festive season to meet some influential people who can put in a word for him before the appointing authority – the president.

Kasekende, according to Watchdog Uganda, another local publication, met with the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi at Acadia Hotel in Bunyonyi, Kabale District, Kigezi sub-region. It is reported that Muhakanizi wants the governor’s job. Was Kasekende looking for an ally to retain the deputy governor's job?

Kasekende worked at Bank of Uganda for the last 33 years having joined in 1986. He served in different capacities before rising to the position of deputy governor in 1999. In 2002, he left the central bank to serve at the World Bank before returning to occupy the same position.

Sudhir Explains Why He Has Trusted His Business Empire To His Son Rajiv

The reasons why businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia chose his only son Rajiv Ruparelia to steer the Ruparelia Group business empire are beyond bloodlines.

Rajiv, who celebrated his 30th birthday on 2nd January 2020, was drafted into the senior management positions of Ruparelia Group at an early age just when he had completed his business degree from a London university.

He has since risen to the position of managing director and his father, arguably the richest man in Uganda has no regrets but only proud of his decision to let Rajiv learn how to do business and run the family business.

As managing director, Rajiv manages investments the Group has injected in various sectors. He has also seen these portfolios grow and expand. The Group has investments in real estate, horticulture, finance, hospitality, broadcasting, and education.

He is the youngest chief executive managing a business valued at over $2bn. This makes Dr. Ruparelia happy. The old Ruparelia told CEO East Africa in an interview that Rajiv’s intellect and hunger to succeed pushed him to relinquish administrative powers to the son.

“One of the biggest problems in a family business is succession. In succession, the first obvious choice is your family members. What we tried to do is mould him into business, work with him and guide him at an early age.

“The important thing is that Rajiv is intelligent, he has got his own hunger for success, and by 27 years, we felt it was the right time for him to join the business.

“He is very hardworking and dedicates time to the business. Now he has also taken on motor rallying and you can see his hard work there too. He has won almost all the races he has participated in, in just under 6 months of joining the game.

“As long as he balances the business with rallying and the businesses do not suffer, then we do not have any issue. Otherwise, things are going according to our goals and plans and we are moving forward.”

“I think everything has worked out very well for him. Three years down the road, we have successfully put up a lot of investments in the country. Rajiv has successfully overseen the construction of Kingdom Mall, The Cube, Kitante Apartments, Hardware Plaza, Market Plaza, Electrical Plaza, and Kampala Boulevard.

“We have started putting up 269 apartments hotel at Kabira Country Club; it has just started hopefully in 2 and a half years, it will be completed. Rajiv has managed all these. There are more than 10 other buildings in the pipeline and the projects are ready to take off also supervised by him.” Dr. Ruparelia told the CEO. 

DFCU Bank Loses Founding Shareholder After Shares Trade Off

DFCU Bank has lost its founding shareholder, CDC Group, after the UK’s development finance institution confirmed it has sold its 9.97% stake in the Ugandan commercial bank

CDC Group and DFCU Bank revealed that the shares are being sold to IFU, the Danish development finance institution. This means that IFU replaces CDC as the second biggest shareholder of the bank.

CDC has been reducing its stake in DFCU over the last six years - from 60% to 15% in 2013 and then to just under 10% in 2017 following a rights issue at the bank.

CDC’s Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe said the partnership with DFCU has perfectly demonstrated their credentials as a provider of patient capital.

“And I am delighted that in IFU, we are passing the baton to a like-minded investor that, alongside Arise, the largest existing shareholder in DFCU, will be as equally committed to DFCU’s long-term stability and success.”

IFU´s Chief Executive Officer, Torben Huss said they are pleased to become a shareholder in DFCU as they share the ambition to expand access to financial services.

“Moreover, we see this acquisition as a strategic step to increase our engagement in the private sector in Uganda and further promote the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Elly Karuhanga, the Board Chairman of DFCU Limited said that with IFU as one of the shareholders, they are confident that DFCU is well on track to achieving its vision of being the preferred financial institution in Uganda.

“We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to CDC who have walked this journey with us since 1964. Their commitment and support over the last 55 years has enabled us to make real tangible progress towards the achievement of our vision. We look forward to continued collaboration with CDC in other areas in the future.”

CDC made its first investment in DFCU in 1964 as a founding partner to the bank and has played an integral role in its long-term growth over the last six decades, through a number of equity and debt funding rounds.

Danish Firm Risks To Buy CDC's 9.97% Shares In Dfcu Bank

DFCU Bank, in what they called a cautionary announcement published in the local media said one of their significant minority shareholder was quitting and had found a buyer to buy their interests in the bank.

DFCU Bank, however, didn’t name the shareholder leaving or the incoming investor; however, Eagle Online has Tuesday reported that the departing shareholder is Britain’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group.

Eagle Online in the same report said the incoming investor is the IFU- Denmark – the Danish Development Finance Institution/ Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

While DFCU Bank has not confirmed these developments, it looks like the time for CDC Group to quit DFCU Bank has finally arrived and the British firm is parking up its 9.97% shareholding in the Ugandan bank.

Material effect expected

DFCU, who have for the past three years been struggling to retain customers, staff and investors, said in the notice that the departure of CDC Group is expected to cause a material effect in the day to day running of the bank.

“Dfcu limited…advises its shareholders and the general public that a significant minority shareholder has received and accepted an expression of interest for the purchase of its shareholding in the Company by another which, if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of the Company's shares,” Dfcu said in the cautionary announcement.

It went to warn and advise shareholders and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s shares until a further announcement is made.

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