Finance (467)

Immediately Handover Office, Gender Ministry PS Tells EOC's Sylvia Nabatanzi, Others

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Aggrey Kibenge has ordered the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission Sylvia Nabantazi Muwebwa and other senior staff to handover office, official documents and assets in their possession to the Under Secretary/Finance and Administration, Equal Opportunities Commission following the expiry of their office tenure.

The employment contract of Nabantazi and others at the commission expired on January 19 and efforts to have the appointing authority, President Yoweri Museveni, renew it have been futile. This has got te PS to write to the Solicitor General for advice; no response has been received. This has left the PS with no option but to ask the affected individuals led by their chairperson Nabatanzi to handover the office.

Nabatanzi tenure at the EOC came to the end amid corruption and abuse of office charges. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi and nine others were charged for abuse of office following a complaint to President Yoweri Museveni by a whistleblower calling for his intervention. According to a petition dated May 22, 2019, the whistleblower accused her of causing financial loss of over Shs200m through termination of workers contracts and forcing workers to resign and replace them with her relatives and friends.

Since she took over the chairperson-ship of the commission, the whistleblower said Nabatanzi has unfairly dismissed over 11 staff, terminated over 10 staff contracts, and four contracts have not been renewed. In 2017/ 2018, the Auditor General advised the commission to employ people on permanent contracts however the chairperson declined and this has since led to financial losses.  However, the Director of Public Prosecution recently dropped all the charges brought against her.


Personal Sacrifice, Commitment, The Traits You Need To Achieve Saving Goals

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

The Covid 19 lockdown experience and the untold suffering that came with it as basic needs became out of reach for most hand to mouth or daily income earners in urban areas that became jobless was a life-changing experience.

“ It is as a result of this that we the founders of Nazzikuno Charity Foundation decided to start a micro-savings project dubbed Afford to prevent another crisis among low-income earners like was the case in the lockdown when they had no money to buy, sugar, salt, soap and other necessities having been rendered jobless and incomeless by the lockdown,”  Tonny Ssenfuma Chairman and Founder Nazzikuno Charity Foundation said.

Speaking during the launch of this savings scheme at Busega Community, Lindon Natukwasa an Entrepreneur, Speaker and ICT trainer advised community members to record and watch carefully all their income and expenditure. He said, “Many times when you make proper records and analysis of these figures, you will realise you are spending more than you should on at times unnecessary items minus doing any savings.”

As a result after spending on the basic necessities daily, it is also important for one to put aside some money in savings however small it may be daily.

All this Natukwasa said starts with a personal decision to take a step against all odds which will involve personal sacrifice as you go along the way but the results will be worth it especially when it comes to savings.

“For example, something as simple as choosing between buying more stock in your retail shop instead of taking out your family to a funky dinner may help you grow your business and afford the luxuries you want later. The same is the case with for example postponing a decision to buy a car and acquiring a plot instead which accumulates in value.”

Take decisions that will help you save and invest while keeping a good record of your finances, he emphasized.

Chartered Accountant and Entrepreneur Dorcus Nakiganda Bateefu another keynote speaker at the event advised all those in attendance to indulge in businesses they are passionate about as this makes it easy when it comes to perseverance in the hard times and also keeps one learning continuously and improving because of that genuine interest.

Bateefu said the same principle should be applied to starting a saving culture and sticking to it at an individual level. “You will need to sacrifice a lot to save daily and consistently and this will include cutting down on personal costs and luxuries. With an objective you intend to achieve like expand your business, acquire a plot of land or expand your current project well laid out, the burden will be a little easier she noted.

On top of that, separating personal cash from business finances is key to achieving savings goals and sustainability, reinvestment of profits especially in the early stages of a business will help it grow faster and achieve one's desired goals she added.

Clement Kizza a prominent local Leader in the Busega Kibumbiro Community urged his subjects present not to despise humble beginnings and small jobs because it is from these that one can realise an income to build their savings and get capital for bigger projects.

When it comes to savings, one should follow up on the money they are going to save besides endeavouring to diversify their sources of income and staying focused on their savings goal to achieve their original objective.

Samuel Katamba Nazzikuno Charity Foundation's Head of Programs said they intend to build on Afford’s savings program to encourage more savings in the community and create creditworthy members that can not only access loans from the program but outside it as well given the good savings track record they will have.

With members allowed to save a minimum of 500 shillings daily, the program is open to all, you simply need consistency to be able to save whatever amount you commit to doing consistently so as to achieve your goals besides being assured of accessing basic necessities from member shops on credit when the need arises Katamba concluded.

Museveni Must Punish Kasekende, Bagyenda, Sekabira – Petitioners

Two petitioners Sam Kakuru and Brian Arinda want former Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials Justine Bagyenda and Louis Kasekende to be punished by President Yoweri Museveni for their role in collapsing close to seven commercial banks.

Also targeted by the petitioners is Benedict Sekabira and Margaret Kasule who currently work at Bank of Uganda as director Financial Markets Development and head legal respectively. 

Three year\s ago parliament’s COSASE after deep and wide investigations recommended that the above officials are held accountable directly for their role in selling and collapsing seven commercial banks in ways described as dubious.

“Your Excellency as you may be aware that it’s now almost three years since COSASE committee of the Parliament closed its investigations into the irregular sale of seven defunct banks, with recommendations to hold culpable the implicated officials, but nothing yet has been done.

“A forensic parliamentary audit by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC-COSASE) discovered that the three – Kasekende, Bagyenda and Sekabira, profited from the botched closure of seven commercial banks and other fraudulent acts during the process,” the petitioner’s letter reads in part.

“Your excellency, there has been overwhelming evidence according to COSASE report of 2019 all over citing corruption scandals in the central bank to mention but a few; fraudulent closure of 7 defunct banks, irregularities on appointments within the Bank Of Uganda, conflict of interest in bidding processes in the construction of Bank of Uganda currency centers, among others in the bank of Uganda,” the petition filed by Kakuru and Arinda reads in part.

Prudential Named Most Innovative Life Insurance Company In Uganda

Prudential Uganda has been awarded the most innovative life insurance company for the year 2020 at the inaugural Insurance Innovation awards organized by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).

While recognizing the award, Arjun Mallik, Managing Director, Prudential East Africa said that the reason for innovation is for the service of customers.

“At Prudential, innovation is in our DNA, we take great pride in driving continuous improvement and innovation, and these initiatives impact all our stakeholders, the wider community, our clients, staff, agents, partners and our regulator.” 

He added that being among the first to receive the inaugural awards by IRA was such an honour especially being recognized for ground breaking innovations achieved is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the inspirational young team involved inventing and delivery of the innovations. 

While speaking at the award gala held at Serena Hotel in December, Al hajji Ibrahim Kaddunabi Lubega, the Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Regulatory Authority said “innovation is many things but the ultimate goal is to improve our processes to make the life of customers better”

The Insurance Innovation Awards are aimed at recognizing, appreciating, and motivating the innovators and the role innovation plays in advancing the insurance sector in Uganda. According to IRA, the focus of these awards is on use of new technologies, new products, services, and other advancements in the insurance industry with the aim of fostering innovation and creativity in the insurance sector.

Prudential was recognised for, among many others:

Innovative Product design: - Being the first company in Uganda to launch a free COVID-19 cover to all customers, public, staff and agents at the height of the Pandemic which impacted over 50,000 individuals and being the first company to launch a dollar denominated product to cater a particular segment of the market, the actuarial services supporting this product equals to over 4.4 billion shillings

Pioneering Cardiovascular health in Uganda: - 10 million people have been reached with a message to protect their heart through the Omutima Gwo heart campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Uganda Heart Institute and media partners

EOC Boss Quits After M7 Contract Renewable Snub

Sylvia Muwebwa Nabatanzi, the beleaguered Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) chairperson has left office after the President rejected to renew her contract, Trumpet News reports.

Sylvia’s contract expired on January 19, 2021 after several efforts of lobbying for a renewal were unsuccessful.

She has since changed her name from Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi to Sylvia Muwebwa Nabatanzi, a move perceived as tactical to run away from her dirty past.

Source at the Commission who asked not to be mentioned told Trumpet News that ylvia leaves office along with her board members whose presence in the office has done more harm than good.

Late last year in November Sylvia was remanded to Kigo prison by the Anti-Corruption Court on charges related to corruption before committing her to the High Court.

While probing her, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) feared that Sylvia’s stay in office would jeopardize investigations and therefore recommended that she is interdicted immediately.

 The line Ministry- Gender and Labour- Permanent Secretary Aggrey Kibenge sought guidance of the Solicitor General in relation to what criteria to follow to remove her from office since she was directly appointed by the President.

Responding to Mr Kibenge, the Solicitor General said “Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa is not appointed by the Public Service Commission but by the President, who also has the authority to revoke her appointment according to Section 6 of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act.”

Sylvia until to date battles 25 charges of corruption, abuse of office, causing financial loss, embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud government.

Premier Recruitment To Send Mechanics, Security Guards To Work In Qatar

Premier Recruitment Limited, a local labour export company, has received an order from Aletqan Manpower, a Qatari human resource company, to recruit electrical and mechanical engineers, painters, security guards and waiters and waitress for job placements in Qatar.

In a 03/02/2021 letter addressed to M/S Premier Recruitment Limited, Sami Suleiman, the general manager of Aletqan Manpower, expressed interest to recruit 850 workers from Uganda to work in Qatar. 

Of these 850 workers, 200 will work as waiters and waitresses, another 200 as security guards; 100 will work as laborers, 100 as mechanical technicians, another 100 as electrical technicians, 50 as carpenters and another 50 as painters.

Sami Suleiman, the general manager of Aletqan Manpower said the lucky Ugandans will be given a two year contract with a six months paid probation period. They will also get free food and work for only eight hours a day, six days a week.

The employees who will get a work visa before signing their contracts will get food and accommodation from employer company; they will also get 21 days per year as leave benefit.

Medical and insurance, round trip ticket and resident permit will be provided by the employer company. The Ugandans who will have qualified for these jobs will have to live by and adhere to the Qatar Labor Laws.



4000 Lose Saudi Jobs Because Ugandan Embassy Is Broke

Over 4000 Ugandan workers have lost an opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia after the Ambassador halted the job orders due to a financial meltdown at Uganda’s embassy in this Middle East country, Trumpet News reported Monday morning.

According to the Kampala based news website, Saudi Arabian labour companies had issued an order of 4000 Ugandans to work as maids, nurses, English teachers and warehouse workers but now this will not be possible because of the latest developments fronted by Ugandan embassy.

Local firms dealing in labour exportation in Kampala had started recruiting the needed workers before they were learnt of the suspension. According to Trumpet News, the Uganda’s Mission in Riyadh was undergoing tough times because of limited funding by the Ministry of Finance in Kampal.

As a result the Ambassador Isaac Ssebulime called off the orders because there is no money to process them in the system, Trumpet News revealed. He has since written to Ministry of Gender about the embassy’s inability to process the orders until government allocates money for the embassy.

Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) Chairman Baker Akantambira, who travelled to Saudi Arabia to assess the condition of migrant workers observed that the embassy is in dire state and needs urgent government intervention.

UAERA is an association that brings together all legally registered labour externalisation firms.  Mr Baker observed that the Mission has accumulated rent arrears. There is no hope for renewal.

Medical bill accumulated and now the embassy has no credit facility not even health assurance. The embassy staff had resorted to pulling their own personal resources to send critical cases to hospital.

Migrant workers who rushed to the embassy for help have been sleeping outside for two weeks now. The job order processing system is down for lack of money to renew the licenses and servicing.

If labour companies want job orders to be processed they must finance the embassy. Ambassador Ssebulime has already written to Ministry of Gender to halt this business until government funds the embassy.

But shockingly government earns $1.4B from labour externalization business and most of the business orders arise from Saudi Arabia. Through UAERA, labour companies in Uganda hard started contributing $300 to fund the Mission.

DPP Asks Police To Conduct Further Investigations Ahead Of Kasekende, Bagyenda Prosecution

Borrowers and owners of the defunct International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank whose properties were taken over and sold by Bank of Uganda irregularly and at giveaway prices, will have to wait a little bit longer for justice to be served.

CEO East Africa Magazine has learnt that the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has asked the Uganda Police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate to conduct further inquiries on the allegations made against former Bank of Uganda officials, in the irregular sale of the banks.

The case was opened by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC – COSASE).

Some of the central bank officials that were recommended for prosecution include: Dr Louis Kasekende, the former Deputy Governor; Mrs Justine Bagyenda, the former Executive Director, Commercial Bank Supervision; and Benedict Sekabira, the current Director Financial Markets Development.

“The case file was sent back to the Police in October with instructions to conduct further inquiries into the matter. The Police are supposed to resubmit the file for further perusal upon completion of the investigations,” Ms Jacquelyn Okui, the spokesperson of the ODPP told this reporter on phone.

Earlier, in a July 7th 2020 letter, (Ref: HQS-CO-0191-2020), Mr Odiit Andrew, the Senior Assistant DPP and Head, Land Crimes Department at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions had asked police to round up, question and search the homes of the suspects.

It shall be remembered that one of the major issues probed by the MPs on Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), is why and how assets (loans) belonging to International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank Assets (loans) amounting to UGX 135 billion were sold to a company called, Nile River Acquisition Company (NRAC) at USD5.25m (Shs8.9bn), causing a loss of UGX126 billion, according to the Auditor-General. The sold assets included UGX34 bn of loans that had valid, legal and equitable mortgage supported by proper legal documentation. According to the AG, the UGX8.9bn sale price, represented 26% of the total secured loan portfolio and 7% of the total loan portfolio.

The police is also supposed to investigate, how certificates of titles belonging to former clients of the above three defunct banks ended up in the possession of city lawyers, yet they were originally in the possession of the Central Bank, following the closure of the respective banks. 

“For meaningful inquiries to be carried out, there is a need to ensure that the said certificates of title are recovered. We shall thus need the assistance of court through Court Orders to properly facilitate our inquiries. These court orders may include criminal summons, warrants of arrest, search warrants etc., and yet these orders can only and properly be secured when we have a matter before court. Therefore, in the meantime we need to have a case registered in court for that purpose for now,” Mr Odiit wrote.

“You are therefore directed to ensure that you prepare a charge sheet ready for court in respect to the offence of concealing a title deed C/S 278 of the Penal Code Act. There ought to be a count for each of the title deeds we currently have and from the complainants so far,” Mr. Odiit wrote.

The officials to be rounded up, included, among others, the coordinators of the defunct commercial banks in liquidation, a one Ben Sekabira together with Polly K. Ndyarugahi his co-coordinator.  

“Record statements from the former Deputy Governor of Bank of Uganda one Louis Kasekende and one Justine. Bagyenda (Mrs). Evidence on record indicates that they were as well involved in this saga,” Oddit further ordered the police.

However, according to Ms Okui, following these orders, the DPP, received complaints from unspecified people, prompting the call for further investigations. “The DPP called for the case file after she received a complaint following these (Mr Odiit’s) instructions,” Okui said.

The CID Spokesperson, Twine Charles, promised to get back to CEO East Africa Magazine on the status of the investigations, but had not yet done so by the time of publishing this story.

It is now almost two years since COSASE closed its investigations into the irregular sale of 7 defunct bank, with recommendations to punish the implicated officials, but nothing yet has been done.

SOURCE: CEO East Africa

EOC Boss Strangely Changes Names Amidst Corruption Charges

The troubled Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi has changed her name a few months after being charged with corruption, Eagle Online reports.

According to a deed poll published in a local daily, EOC boss renounced and abandoned the use of the name Sylvia Ntambi as it appears on her national identification card and in the lieu assumed the name Sylvia Nabatanzi Muwebwa.

Previously EOC boss was using Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi but now she has dropped Ntambi and replace it with Nabatanzi hence adoption of Sylvia Nabantazi Muwebwa.

“In the pursuance of my side change of name as fore said, I shall hereby declare that I shall of all time thereafter in all records, deeds, and instruments in writing and in all actions, proceedings and transactions, and upon all actions whatsoever go by, use and sign the said name in lieu of the name Ntambi Sylvia renounced as fore mentioned,” reads in part of the deed poll.

 “I therefore request and authorise all persons at all times thereafter to designate and by my assumed name Nabatanzi Sylvia Muwebwa,” she said.

Sylvia is grappling with corruption charges which were leveled against her in 2020. The charging of Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi and nine others follows the lunging of complaints to President Yoweri Museveni calling for his intervention.

According to a petition dated 22nd May 2019, the whistleblower accused her of causing financial loss of over Shs 200 million through termination of workers contracts and forcing workers to resign and replace them with her relatives and friends.

Since she took over the chairperson-ship of the commission, the whistleblower said Mrs Ntambi has unfairly dismissed over 11 staff, terminated over 10 staff contracts, and four contracts have not been renewed. In 2017/ 2018, the Auditor General advised the commission to employ people on permanent contracts however the chairperson declined and this has since led to financial losses.

Speke Apartments Writes To US Embassy Over Don Zella, Fake Dollars

Speke Apartments, through their parent company Speke Hotel (U) Ltd, has written to the United States of America (US) Embassy in Uganda and the European Union (EU) in Uganda notifying them of a potential international racket involving socialite Don Zella, real names Sheila Nadege, dealing in counterfeit US dollars and other European currencies.

 The letter written by Bongo Ahmed, the head of security at Speke Apartments is also copied to Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) so that they can pick interest in the matter. The FIA monitors, investigates and prevents money laundering in Uganda.

"There is a recent matter reported at Jinja Road Police Station vide reference SDRE 15/25/12/2020 where a reknown socialite one Sheila Nadege also known as Don Zella had complained of a break into a hotel apartment at Speke Apartments where she allegedly lost up to United States Dollars Ninety Thousand (USD90, 000).

"As you will see on your own investigations, she did not seem eager to follow up with the police on this matter and never asked on the state of the said American currency, parts of the letter signed off by Bongo Ahmed, the head of security at Ruparelia Group, the conglomerate owning the apartments through Speke Hotel read.

“As CCTV footage exits and can be availed pointing to likely connivance between the said Nadege Sheilla and the principal suspect in the CCTV footage, police effected an arrest of the principal suspect in the CCTV footage,” Bongo further writes in the two paged letter already received by the US embassy, EU in Uganda and FIA.

Bongo adds: “One arrest, the suspect was found with up to USD80, 000 (United States Dollars Eighty Thousand) in counterfeit American currency and other European currencies. The exhibits are still at Jinja road police and Sheila is still at large with the indication that she will likely leave the country soon.

It appears evident that there is an international racket inclusive of the arrested suspect and the said Don Zella dealing in counterfeit USD and EU currencies,”

Bongo says the purpose for writing the letter to the recipients is to bring the matter to their attention, implore them to interest themselves in the prospect of an international racket dealing in counterfeit American currency and other European currencies and to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion as per their nation's laws. He also attaches a series of pictorial evidence.

Don Zella recently sued Speke Apartments seeking damages worth $125,000 (about Shs461 million) after a thief allegedly broke into her room and stole her properties and cash. She was staying at the Apartments with her family, sisters and close associates.

In the lawsuit filed before the High Court Civil Division, Don Zella states that on December 6, 2020, she rented two apartment rooms number 107 and 512 operated by Speke Apartments.

However, on December 25 while she and her family members were away, a thief or thieves at around 4 pm, broke into her apartment room 107 and stole her properties worth Shs460 million. It turned out that the suspect was Jeremiah Ojok, a close associate of Don Zella.

Investigations by police led to the arrest of Ojok in Arua with counterfeit currencies of the US dollars and various European currencies. Ojok is currently being held at Jinja Rd police station in Kampala. It is here that Speke Apartments have written to the US embassy and the EU in Uganda.

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