Hundreds of Ugandan youth under their umbrella Youth Power Research Uganda (YOPRU)have protested what they termed as broad day robbery of defunct Crane Bank led by former director supervision bank of Uganda Justine Bagyenda and its fraudulent sell to Dfcu bank.
According to Ben Sebuguzi the group team leader, on September 19th, 2017 they petitioned Yoweri Kaguta Museveni requesting him to investigate how some officials in Bank of Uganda (BOU) had taken the business of closure of banks as a hobby.
Sebuguzi told the media in Kampala today Tuesday that Crane Bank is among the banks that were involuntarily precipitated to close without taking time to analyze the impact of the bank to the economy.
“Our indigenous bank that was a rock of refugee to the business community was unceremoniously closed by weevils from Bank of Uganda”.Sebuguzi says.
Sebuguzi added that traders suffered hard after its sell because it had tailored needs with flexible terms.
“Youths lost jobs and worst of all, the directors, who have dedicated all their time to develop their country Uganda have been frustrated by mafias through depriving them the sweat of their investments. A bank that had Net Assets worth Ugx 1.3 trillion was sold a paltry of about Ugx 200bn”.He added.
“Your Excellency, this is a significance of day robbery by people with selfish interests from Bank of Uganda who want to reap where they have not sown. As youths of Uganda, we castigate such attitude as it may scare other potential investors who would like to commit their resources in our country”
He explained that Crane Bank would have been saved if there were patriotic people in BOU given the fact that the Bank was the second largest indigenous bank which does not repatriate profits but ploughs back.
He explained that bank needed special supervision because it had defied all odds and decided to penetrate the countryside where other banks fear hence promoting financial inclusion where the largest number of the unbanked population live, hence indirectly fighting government Vision of transforming rural communities into the money market through bank services.
“By virtue of this, the bank was carrying “systematic risk” where by the decision of closure was not supposed to be hastily done. We believe that this bank needed due diligence with utmost good faith”.
“In 2008,US government supported their collapsing banks like Lehman brothers where the US federal Reserve injected $236bn in order to support their economy, in the same spirit, we expected the Director Supervision to have fore sightedness and think the same way like modern economies do. This leaves a lot of questions as to whether we have competent people that run various critical offices”.
“In the same vein, as the trustees and management of YOPRU, extend their sincere thanks to H.E President Museveni, for implementing our recommendations in the petition highlighted above like prevailing over the anguish of BOU against Crane Bank directors by allowing negotiations outside court”.
“This is very crucial because the frustration of Mr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the director of defunct Crane Bank by BOU can be equated to a local adage of washing and drying in mud”.
“Mr. Sudhir is made by Ugandans themselves hence making Uganda to have one of the most successful investors in the region, so destroying him would mean destroying a thousand jobs for youths, destroying local investors yet it is easy to breakdown an investor, but very difficult to make another one”.
They also thanked the president for instructing Hon Anite Minister for Investment for giving out Namulanda land to Sudhir in order to boost our floriculture sector.
They however noted that there are some government officials still dragging their feet to actualize the process hence needing urgent attention.
“Above all, we would like to thank His Excellency for terminating the contract of Miss Bagyenda Justine (former Director Supervision) Bank of Uganda because she exhibited unprofessionalism with anguish in the closure of Crane Bank”.
“We thank him for bringing on board the Financial Intelligence Agency and IGG to investigate her and other officials although of late we are seeing the IGG trying to protect her as if there is connivance by the IGG to support her friend to stay in office at the cost of Ugandans”.
“Often, we have seen the IGG instructing suspects to resign as investigations proceed, but for Bagyenda, it is a different case.”
“ In a nutshell therefore, we call upon the IGG to respect the independence of Bank of Uganda as enshrined in Article 126(2) for this institution is very fragile in that any mistake can wreck our economy through foreign exchange rates, inflation and interest rates and therefore sacrilegious”. He explained.