Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Climate Financing By Leading Multilateral Development Banks Tops $61.6bn

Climate financing by seven of the world’s largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) totalled $61.6 billion in 2019, of which $41.5 billion (67%) was in low- and middle-income economies, according to the 2019 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance.

The study expands the scope of reporting for the first time to all countries with multilateral development bank operations. It now provides data on MDB climate finance commitments beyond those directed solely at developing and emerging economies, but with the focus remaining on low- and middle-income countries.

This year the report combines data from the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), the World Bank Group (WBG) and – for the first time – the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), which joined the working group in October 2017. In 2019, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also joined MDB working groups, and its data is presented separately within the current report.

The 2019 report shows that $46.6 billion, or 76% of total financing for the year, was devoted to climate change mitigation investments that aim to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and slow down global warming. Of this, 59% went to low- and middle-income economies.

The remaining $15 billion, or 24%, was invested in adaptation efforts to help countries build resilience to the mounting impacts of climate change, including worsening droughts, extreme flooding and rising sea levels. Ninety-three percent of this finance was directed at low- and middle-income economies.

Additional climate funds channelled through MDBs, such as the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), the European Union’s funds for Climate Action, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), play an important role in boosting MDB climate financing.

In 2019, the MDBs report a further $102.7 billion in net climate co-finance – investments from the public and private sector – taking the total of climate activity financed in the year to $164.3 billion.

The MDBs have reported on climate finance since 2011, based on a jointly developed methodology for climate finance tracking.

The 2019 edition of the Joint Report on MDBs’ Climate Finance is published in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused significant social and economic disruption, temporarily reducing global carbon emissions to 2006 levels.

Dr. Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, noted: “Our investments that contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement continue to grow. The climate finance provided by the Bank increased from $3.2 in 2018 to $3.5 billion in 2019 – representing 35% of total project approvals worth $10.2 billion.” The largest climate finance investments were made in the energy, agriculture and transport sectors.

Importantly, the Bank exceeded its target of achieving parity between adaptation and mitigation finance by allocating 55% of its climate finance resources to adaptation and 45% to mitigation, whereas globally more than 70% of climate finance is allocated to mitigation. More global efforts are needed to build climate change resilience and adaptation in Africa.

“As African economies face the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, slacking action or redirecting financial resources from climate change will further compound these impacts in a diverse and complex manner,” Dr. Nyong cautioned.

Bigirimana, Kasirye, Attorney General In Multi-Billion Trouble

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has written to the Secretary to the Judiciary Pius Bigirimana seeking for an explanation in reference to the fraudulent transfer of Shs16,8171042/=, Command1Post reports.

The cash which was released by Bank of Uganda was deposited on the accounts of Ms Heed Debt Recovery Services Ltd through its account held in ECO Bank Rwenzori branch.

Pius Bigirimana is the chief accounting officer of the judiciary and is charged with signing for every single coin released by the institution. It remains unclear how the said billions were released to the fraudsters under his watch.

“The amount was transferred by Bank of Uganda to the said account and by the time the fraud was detected the suspects had already withdrawn Shs200,000,000/=,” the letter reads.

It adds "The purpose of this letter is to request you to provide; requisition with its attachment (if any) made to your office which led to the approval of the payment, payment request to Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development and other documents, a list of officials who handled the process and any other document related to the case under investigation”

“You are also requested to make a statement in relation to the alleged fraudulent transfer,”

Ag Registrar High Court Ikit Mary wrote to Pius Bigirimana requesting for security deposit refund in the sum of Shs16,8171042/= vide Commercial Division HCC 08 of 2006 arising from tax appeals tribunal of Kampala Application number TAT 902 /2008 Kasekende Mujuzi and others Vs Uganda Revenue Authority

Mary Ikit noted that the above case was completed at commercial court and that court ordered for the refund.

“This is therefore to request you to authorize payment of shs 16, 8171042/= as security deposit for the above case to the detailed bank account”.

The account is in the names of Heed Recovery Services Ltd 7255001733 held in Eco bank Rwenzori branch.

Bigirimana in his letter to the Director Criminal Investigations also said that the money was paid on recommendations of Her Worship Dr Agnes Nkonge who issued a court order directing to pay the said money on June 2020. The requisition was originary made by H/W Chemtai Tom and later by Mary Ikit.

He also indicated that H/W Mary Ikit also made a requisition confirming that it was genuine.

Bigirimana also handed over payment evidence where Kasirye Byaruhanga and Co Advocates also bagged USD 48, 29426 about shs 17,806,068,439.27 in favor of Entebbe Handling Services.

Attorney General Byaruhanga is a partner in Kasirye, Byaruhanga Co. Advocates which received the money while Entebbe Handling services which manages Entebbe international airport is owned by one of the influential ministers from Greater Masaka region.

Bigirimana’s name featured prominently in the infamous OPM scandal where billions of money was stolen from the office of the prime minister. He was again the chief accounting officer of the said money.

After the money had been stolen, Bigirimana again blew a whistle on the now disgraced former OPM principal accountant, Geoffrey Kazinda, accusing him of orchestrating the scam and of poor work ethic

He claimed that Kazinda forged his signature to release the said money from bank of Uganda.

He was subsequently transferred to the ministry of labour, Gender and Social affairs and later to the ministry of justice.

SOURCE: Command1Post

DPP Starts Process To Prosecute Kasekende, Bagyenda, Sekabira

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ordered police to round up, question and search the homes of a city lawyer and two former officials and one current official of Bank of Uganda, Trumpet News reported on Friday.

The order by DPP brings a ray of hope to the owners of the defunct International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank whose properties were taken over and sold by Bank of Uganda, in a process that the Parliament of Uganda found to be flawed.

Under the case, with reference number Ref: HQS-CO-0191-2020, police and DPP are investigating circumstances under which certificates of titles belonging to former clients of the above three defunct banks ended up in the possession of a city lawyer, Mr. Kakembo Katende of M/S Kirkland Associates.

Odiit Andrew, the Senior Assistant DPP/Head, Land Crimes Department at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions named 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 as suspects.

The case was opened by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), on recommendation of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (PAC – COSASE) to investigate circumstances under which Mr. Kakembo came to be in possession of the land titles, yet they were to be in the possession of Nile River Acquisition Company Ltd (NRAC), the company incorporated by Octavian Advisors, the American company that originally bought the assets of the defunct banks. 

Shortly after acquiring the assets, NRAC appointed SIL Investments, a company incorporated a few weeks before the sale of the assets to manage the recovery process in Uganda.

Kakembo’s law firm, M/S Kirkland Associates was hired by Bank of Uganda to advise on the disposal of the assets. An investigation by this website later found a close link between NRAC, SIL Investments, the company appointed by NRAC to handle the sale in Uganda and Kirkland Associates.

It shall be remembered that one of the major issues probed by the MPs on 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 NRAC 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.

Writing to the Director of the CID, Odiit said that to fast-track the case amidst hostile suspects, some of whom were now on the run, it was important to secure a court order to round up the suspects, search their homes, obtain statements and retrieve the said titles.

“For meaningful inquiries to be carried out, there is 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,” 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 titled deeds we currently have and from the complainants so far.

The probable suspects include; Kakembo Katende and all his associates/partners trading as M/S Kirkland Associates, Nanyonga Evelyn and all her co-Directors in SIL Investment Ltd and the coordinators of the defunct commercial banks in liquidation, a one Ben Sekabira together with Polly K. Ndyarugahi his co-coordinator. Have all the suspects arrested and ‘arraigned in court,” Odiit instructed the CID.

“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 orders.

In an attempt to establish whether there was a link between Kasekende, Bagyenda and Sekabira, the DPP has also ordered that the CID obtains from the Ugandan Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) information about an American company called Octavian Advisors, which, through NRAC bought the said assets.

The DPP also wants police to “record a statement from the proprietor of SIL Investments Ltd in respect to its association with Octavian Advisors, Kirkland Associates, Ben Sekabira and other Bank of Uganda employees.”

SOURCE: Trumpet News

TripAdvisor Rewards La Cabana Restaurant With 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, has recognized La Cabana Restaurant, Kampala’s premium and ritzy churrasco grill restaurant in Uganda, and awarded them with a Travelers’ Choice Award for 2020.

The travel agency picked the 2020 winners basing on the quality and quantity of the millions of reviews, opinions and ratings collected on Tripadvisor in the year 2019.

The awards celebrate travelers’ favorite hotels, restaurants and airlines around the world. 4,817 unique businesses have been honored this year. Over 8.7 million businesses are listed on Tripadvisor.

This is not the first time La Cabana Restaurant, located at Speke Apartments on Wampewo Avenue, is receiving this award – a Certificate of Excellence. Last year, La Cabana was a proud recipient of the same.

While it is largely and famously known for its exotic way of preparing and serving Brazilian, Indian and Chinese food, especially the meats, La Cabana Restaurant also caters for vegetarians.

TripAdvisor said the 18th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards is part of their efforts to support the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry which has been battered by the COVID19 pandemic.

“This has been a tough year for our industry, but the global desire to go and explore, whether the destination is an hour away or across the world, remains strong.

We’re passionate about guiding travelers to the good out there, especially the good found within these recognized hotels, restaurants and airlines that rise to the occasion in offering the best of the best,” said Lindsay Nelson, chief experience and brand officer at Tripadvisor.

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