Finance

Finance (297)

Youth Group Wants Irene Mulyagonja Fired From Her IGG Job

Uganda Poor Youth Movement, a youth pressure group, has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni asking him to fire the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja for failing to execute her mandate.

The Group also alleges that there is public resentment towards the institution of Inspectorate of Government due to Mulyagonja's incompetence.

The petition signed off by the Groups spokesperson Zahid Sempala and addressed to President Museveni said the IGG is discriminatory and her office is tainted with corruption, favoritism and selective justice.

"Your Excellency, the office of the Inspector General of Government has on several occasions shunned away from investigating and prosecuting some public officers when where there is glaring evidence and public outcry to have the said person prosecuted.

Where her office chooses to investigate, these people come out scot free at the end of investigations which has prompted the public to perceive the office of the Inspector General of Government as one that is constituted on paper but rather toothless, a joke and dummy in actual sense," the petition reads in part.

The petition has come at a time when the president has also lost trust in Mulyagonja and has publically rebuked the IGG for failing at her job. The president even set up a parallel anti-corruption agency headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.

The president said the IGG office has been infiltrated by bad elements. "I think she (Mulyagonja) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups. That is why I appointed a watchman to watch over the watchman," he said. "What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG?" he asked again.

Nakalema has in the recent past since her appointment made several arrests of heads of government institutions that have been reported to be corrupt leaving Mulyagonja egg faced.

Recently, a leaked shortlist of people who have applied for the job of Court of Appeal (Constitutional Court) bares the name of Mulyagonja, the current IGG. This is an indication that she is preparing for life after the Inspectorate of Government.

Sudhir Advises Young Entrepreneur To Get Their Hands Dirty

If there is one person admired by the youth and upcoming entrepreneurs, it is businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, whose break out story is phenomenon and energizing. And when he offers counsel, it holds water.

In an interview with CEO East Africa, the businessman has advised youths and the young entrepreneurs to get down and get their hands dirty.

“Uganda, like every other country has its own challenges and opportunities but the future belongs to those who go after the opportunities not the ones that always whining about the challenges,” he said.

“Government has invested significantly in roads, electricity generation and distribution which are all factors of production. It is now up to us as Ugandans to put in our all and make the best use of these, all the challenges regardless.

“The youth today are blessed to be born in the era of the internet, there is boundless opportunities.”

Sudhir Confident Uganda’s Economy Good For Doing Business

When you talk to most Ugandans undertaking different business ventures, you will get mixed reactions about the state of Uganda’s economy. Many would say it is hectic for business. They will also give varying reasons.

But for businessman Sudhir Ruparelia his response is positive and promising. The mogul with businesses in all sectors, the country’s economy is recovering and good for doing business. This economy, he says, is good for entrepreneurship.

“First of all I must say that as a Group we have confidence in this economy which is why we continue to invest and reinvest in Uganda. Whatever challenges there are, we have come to accept that, that is the nature of business,” Sudhir said in an interview with CEO East Africa.

“There is no economy without challenges,” he explained, adding “So we just have to learn how to navigate around them and wake up each day with hope and optimism that things will get better,”

The businessman is optimistic that the economy will continue to grow having recovered from the 2016 slowdown. He expects the economy to continuing growth at about 6 percent as predicted by ministry of finance and IMF.

Asked how his conglomerate Ruparelia Group has been able to sail through the difficulties the economy and his business empire has been facing, the businessman said a diversified business portfolio helped the Group survive.

“As you know, we are a multi-sectoral entity so some sectors have done better than the others but across the board I can say things are looking up,” he noted. Sudhir has seen his real estate business tremendously grow with new affluent apartments & hotels coming to life.

The hotel business had given the businessman a lifeline as Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing & Exhibitions (MICE) tourism took shape globally. Sudhir’s hotels Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kabira Country Club have benefited from both local and international conferences, workshops and meetings.

We Are Ready To Defend What Belongs To Us - Sudhir Vows

Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has had tumultuous times ever since Bank of Uganda moved to clamp his Crane Bank citing insolvency and mismanagement of the commercial bank.

The central bank would go on to sell Crane Bank to dfcu Bank in 2017 in a manner that Sudhir describes as rushed negligent and fraudulent. Ever since then, Sudhir has been in and out of court fighting for justice and he is not about to relent. 

While this fight is draining physically and emotionally, Sudhir is not about to give up and let his hard earned businesses and integrity be rolled in the mad. In an interview with CEO East Africa, the businessman says he is determined to fight on. 

“As a Group, we are determined to defend both our integrity and that which belongs to us. We are also determined to expose the wrong doing by some of these entities that were involved in the fraudulent and illegal closures because we know that is not only us who were affected but many other Ugandans,” he told CEO East Africa’s Kyamutetera Muhereza.

In court, Sudhir is suing and is being counter sued by Bank of Uganda, dfcu Bank and Crane Bank (in receivership). He has also had fights with law firms that previously worked for him but turned around to work for his enemies.

Those he has triumphed easily. Commercial Court in December 2017 disqualified city lawyers Kanyererezi Masembe and David Mpanga from the sh397b Sudhir Ruparelia’s case against Bank of Uganda (BoU) citing conflict of interest.

Court also last month disqualified Sebalu & Lule Advocates from representing DFCU Bank for being conflicted. Like Masembe and Mpanga, Sebalu & Lule Advocates did some work for Sudhir’s Ruparelia Group.

The media has quoted Sudhir saying he wants his bank back but the fate of that is faint and it can get clearer after the numerous court sessions ahead. “As you are aware, we are in court contesting what we believe was an unjustified closure of our bank, but also the rushed negligent and fraudulent manners in which it was closed,” he said.

“However, our claims have so far been proved by the findings of the Auditor General and parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) who found out that closure of Crane Bank and 6 other banks before that, breached several provisions of the Financial Institutions Act (2004) and was therefore illegal.” He further said.

Bank Of Uganda Extends DFCU Bank’s Occupancy Of Sudhir’s Properties

DFCU Bank will continue to occupy freehold properties of Meera Investments Ltd for another 24 months. This comes after Bank of Uganda signed to extend the dfcu Bank extra time on the properties.

According to PMLDaily.com, a local news site, central bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, his deputy Dr. Louis Kasekende and legal director Margaret Kasule okayed the deal officially.

The contested properties are those that used to house Crane Bank branches across the country. They are owned by Meera Investments Ltd, a company that is owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

Crane Bank was also owned by Ruparelia before it was taken over by the central bank and later sold to DFCU Bank. When DFCU took over assets and liabilities of Crane Bank is also moved into the said properties.

At the moment, Ruparelia and Meera Investment in court contesting the move by Bank of Uganda to hand over the buildings to DFCU Bank. The businessman is demanding that DFCU pays rent and rent arrears in billions of shillings.

BoU Replaces Sebalu & Lule In Case Against Meera Investments

J. B. Byamugisha Advocates will now represent Bank of Uganda in the suit filed by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia against Crane Bank Limited (in receivership).

This comes after Justice Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa, kicked Sebalu & Lule Advocates out of any commercial disputes involving Ruparelia and his businesses.

In a May 17, notice to the High Court, the central bank has confirmed having instructed J. B. Byamugisha Advocates, to provide them with legal services.

“Take notice that J.B Byamugisha Advocates on 2nd Floor, EADB Building, 4 Nile Avenue, Kampalla have been instructed to repressent the Respondent (Crane Bank) in the above application," a notice of represented drafter by the law firm stated.

The central bank in October 2016 took over management of Crane Bank Ltd before later controversially selling it dfcu Bank in January 2017 for a paltry UGX200 billion.

The central bank has since come under the spotlight after the closure Crane Bank Ltd backfired with both Parliament and the Auditor General faulting the BoU officials in the middle of the transaction.

Court last month ruled that Sebalu & Lule Advocates are conflicted because they recently worked for Ruparelia Group – the conglomerate owned by the businessman.

In December 2017, the Commercial Court disqualified city lawyers Kanyererezi Masembe and David Mpanga from the sh397b Sudhir Ruparelia’s case against Bank of Uganda (BoU), also citing conflict of interest.

Ruparelia has this week confirmed that he is determined to take on the Bank of Uganda to recover his closed Crane Bank Ltd.

The dfcu Bank which received some of the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank has since been allowed to operate in different branches whose ownership belonged to Meera Investments Ltd, one of the companies owned by Rupaleria.

Mulyagonja Chooses To Quit IGG Office After Losing Museveni’s Backing

President Yoweri Museveni will have to find a new Inspector General of Government (IGG) to replace troubled Irene Mulyagonja who is preferring life elsewhere as a judge of the Constitutional Court.

A leaked shortlist of people who have applied for the job of Court of Appeal (Constitutional Court) bares the name of Mulyagonja, the current IGG. She however faces competition from 24 other distinguished learned judges.

The Court of Appeal of Uganda also known as the Constitutional Court of Uganda is the second-highest judicial organ in Uganda. It derives its powers from Article 134 of the 1995 Constitution.

It is an appellate court when hearing cases appealed from the High Court of Uganda. However, it has original jurisdiction when adjudicating matters relating to the constitutionality of matters before it. All judgments by the Court of Appeal are theoretically appealable to the Supreme Court of Uganda, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the appeal

Justice Mulyagonja was appointed on April 12, 2012 from the High Court where she served as the judge.She has served for seven years. However recent corruptions have left her frustrated especially when the appointing authority, President Museveni, lost trust in her.

The president recently installed a new the State House based Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema to fight corruption in the country. The president has also publically attacked and criticized Mulyagonja for letting her agency to be infiltrated by bad elements. The president said:

"I hear villagers crying that things are going wrong but if they are going wrong what happened to the watchman, the one i left in charge of the home? Why has he not heard that someone is breaking the window?

"I think she (Mulyagonja) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups. That is why I appointed a watchman to watch over the watchman," he said. "What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG?

If it is not working, why should we keep it then? The IGG should reflect on this. Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers."

Financial Intelligence Authority Irked By Delayed IGG Report On Bagyenda

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has said they are have not received any from report the office of Inspector General of Government regarding investigations into the illicit accumulation of wealth by former Bank of Uganda executive director supervision Justine Bagyenda.

The executive director of FIA Sydney Asubo told CEO East Africa that they are also waiting for a copy of the report. "We requested them to give us a copy of their final report because we sent to them information. They are also supposed to give us a feedback on the quality of the information we provide to them in all cases so as to help improve our own work were required," Asubo said.

But recently speaking at a press conference at Uganda Media Center, the IGG Irene Mulyagonja said the law forbids her to share the report with the public. She said that once the report is ready, it will be shared with only the person being investigate - Justine Bagyenda.

On February 20th, 2018, a whistle blower petitioned the IGG to investigate Bagyenda, referring to different assets and billions of shillings she allegedly held in two bank accounts in local commercial banks.

Museveni Blames Mulyagonja For Allowing Bad Elements To Infiltrate Her Office

The times are becoming more tough and ugly for Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government.

Before she settles a storm raised by a whistle blower alleging that she has mismanaged the inspectorate, Mulyagonja has been blamed by President Yoweri Museveni for failing to fight corruption in the country.

The president said the IGG office has been infiltrated by bad elements. The president was speaking as guest of honor at 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa in Kampala.

Because of Mulyagonja's failures, he was forced to appoint Lt Col Edith Nakalema to oversee the IGG through the State House based Anti-Corruption Unit. Nakalema has in the recent past since her appointment made several arrests of heads of government institutions that have been reported to be corrupt leaving Mulyagonja egg faced.

"I hear villagers crying that things are going wrong but if they are going wrong what happened to the watchman, the one i left in charge of the home? Why has he not heard that someone is breaking the window?" the president asked.

"I think she (Mulyagonja) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups. That is why I appointed a watchman to watch over the watchman," he said. "What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG?" he asked again.

"If it is not working, why should we keep it then? The IGG should reflect on this. Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers."

Crane Bank (In Receivership) Cannot Sue Sudhir Ruparelia– Lawyers

Businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia wants commercial court to dismiss a case brought against him and his real estate firm, Meera Investment Ltd, by Bank of Uganda through Crane Bank (in receivership) because the applicant (Crane Bank) has no locus standi.

Locus standi means having the right to bring an action, to be heard in court, or to address the court on a matter before it. In this case, Crane Bank, a company in receivership can't sue or be sued.

In Miscellaneous Application No. 320 of 2019 Ruparelia wants Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017 between Crane Bank vs Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investment Ltd dismissed.

Crane Bank alleges that Ruparelia fraudulently took out up to $92.8m and another Shs8.2bn of depositors' money from the bank for personal gain through various payments to two construction companies and a technology company.

Crane Bank also accuses Ruparelia of failing to remit more than Shs52bn in workers' contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and wants the businessman to pay the amount.

It is also alleged that the entire land where Crane Bank had branches was transferred to Meera Investments Ltd, another of Ruparelia's companies, and later leased it to Crane Bank. Crane Bank wants the back.

In his defense through his lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates, in application to court argues that HCCS 493 of 2017 is expressly barred by law as the respondent (Crane Bank) has no power to sue or be sued.

The lawyers also argue that Crane Bank cannot sue for 'the recovery, transfer and return of freehold property when the respondent is a non-citizen within the mean of the law' since 51 percent of Crane Bank is owned by non-Ugandans.

SOURCE: CEO East Africa

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