While Sudhir has received a lot of ‘beating’ of late, BoU that is headed by Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile as Governor, owes Ugandans a comprehensive explanation on matters related to Crane Bank than Sudhir.
BoU and some sections of the media seem to portray Sudhir as the source of trouble for Crane Bank woes. Was Sudhir the most powerful person at Crane Bank? What was his role in the day today operations of the bank?
According to good governance practices, the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director and the Board Chairperson play a big role in the operations of a business.
At the time of Crane collapse, P.K. Gupta was Acting Managing Director, while Joseph Biribonwa was the Chairman. Sudhir was just a shareholder and deputy Chairman, Board of Directors. Going by the shareholding structure, M/s White Sapphire, who owned 47.33% stake in the bank, had more voting rights than Sudhir. This means Sudhir wasn’t the most powerful person at Crane bank. If he was the most powerful person, where was BoU? The MD and Board Chairperson are vetted and approved by BoU; if they weren’t doing their job diligently, then what is the role of the supervision department at Bank of Uganda?
Justine Bagyenda, the Executive Director Supervision at BoU should be able to answer the above queries.
According to court documents, Ruparrelia owned 100% of Crane Bank through various fronts and questionable transactions.
“By means of elaborate illegal arrangements made with Kantaria (and subsequently White Sapphire) as well as Sanghani, the first defendant dishonestly concealed his ownership and control of the Plaintiff [Crane Bank] from Bank of Uganda, the plaintiff’s depositors and others including the plaintiff’s auditors,” states the plainifft filed by BoU’s lawyers.
There can’t be a change in ownership without BoU’s awareness and approval. If indeed this took place without the knowledge of BoU, does it (BoU) have moral authority to regulate Uganda’s banking sector? If money was being ‘extracted’ from the Bank, where was BoU?