A high ranking World Bank chief has shocked people who held her in high esteem after she was caught in a web of racist comments on social media.
Ms Anne Namara Kabagambe, the World Bank board director supervising 22 countries in Africa has been accused of uttering racism comments against Ugandan billionaire, Mr Sudhir Ruparelia. Sudhir was born and schooled in Uganda and has made and invested most of his wealth in Uganda though diversified it across the globe.
Ms Kabagambe, a Rwandan who is schooled in American Universities including George Washington University, Columbia University and University of California San Diego, wrote a comment reacting on a tweet on Bank of Uganda account which shared news that its deputy governor Louis Kasekende had bid farewell to staff of the central bank.
BoU tweeted to a story by Daily Monitor showing Dr Kasekende had bid farewell to staff. Breaking from the norm of congratulating the departing person and wishing them the best of luck, Ms Kabagambe went after Sudhir in a native manner.
She wrote on January 21 at 5:15am: “The Indian Sudil (read Sudhir Ruparelia) lobbied him out of office.”
Later, Sudhir would call out Ms Kabagambe as a “racist” who unfortunately is employed by the World Bank.
“What a racist? Yet working as director@WorldBank…” Sudhir responded.
Comments that followed the thread expressed disappointment that Ms Kabagambe had stooped so low.
Baluku Godfrey commented saying, “Why play a race card @Kabagambe? Is Dr @SudhirRuparelia1 part of the appointing authority? Am disappointed in you @akabagambe.”
Obam Andrew Esq said, “Even the best dancers leave the dance floor at some point , leave room for others , this is absolutely racist and should not be called for . There is a difference between a contract ending and being lobbied out of office , the score card better still gave the right indicator.”
The Twitter war followed the unceremonious exit of Dr Kasekende from the Central Bank after two terms.
Kasekende desperately wanted another term and reports indicated that he played out all his cards lobbying for a renewal but President Yoweri Museveni had taken his time to make a decision on the number two at Bank of Uganda.
Dr Kasekende and his allies now believe the turn of events for his career, was orchestrated by the allies of Mr Ruparelia, although the the scandals that have hit BoU in the recent past, could have closed his fate.
Dr Kasekende, 61 assumed office as Deputy Governor in January, 2010 and his contract ended last week.
Recently, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija revealed that he had written to Museveni about Kasekende’s contract but he was yet to receive any response from him because ‘he had a lot of things to do lately’.
It is understood that Mr Museveni’s silence on the renewal of Kasekende’s contract meant he was not impressed with the work of the governors but honoured their contracts.
It was also revealed in the media that BoU work had suffered from cliques at the Central Bank that fight to bring each other down. The two camps were allied to either the Governor and his now former Deputy.
As if that was not enough, in June last year, Members of Parliament raised concerns over the incessant scandals plaguing the country’s Central Bank following the recent mishap in which a consignment of printed currency flown into the country included extra cargo not on the bank’s documentation.
The scandal led to State House’s anti-corruption Czar, Edith Nakalema move to arrest several bank officers.
The legislators hinted on the unsatisfactory behaviour of the Bank of Uganda (BoU) in response to a report presented by the State Finance Minister for Planning, David Bahati, noting that not so long ago the Bank was under investigation for erroneously shutting down commercial banks in the country, a drama that played out in broad daylight probe which exposed bank chiefs as incompetent and fraudsters.
Commenting about the illicit cash on the plane, Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) said what is required at BOU is a structural overhaul because there is a problem.
“As if BoU has not learnt, it falls in the same problem. The other problem is that the Board of Directors does not report to anyone and therefore, they cannot be probed,” he noted, one of the key points noted in the Cosase report to Parliament after the BoU probe.
Katuntu said that there is a need to go back to some of the recommendations made on BoU after the probe on illegally closing of commercial banks.
“Things like the Governor being the Board Chairman has to be changed; it means that he reports to himself and dictates how things should be run without being questioned,” Katuntu added.
He said that there are two factions; one for the Governor and the other under the Deputy Governor that are always fighting themselves because of succession.
He added, “The effects of what is going on in BoU is going to affect us all badly.”
MP Alex Byarugaba (Isingiro South) said that it is an embarrassing moment for MPs and the country because back in the day, the Central Bank was never involved in scandals.
“These people who are being suspected should be on suspension to show that the government is committed to iron out such issues in that institution because we are fed up of the countless scandals,” he said.
Kasekende’s role in swallowing Sudhir’s Crane Bank:
In 2018, it came to light that Dr Kasekende was part and parcel of the team that took part in the controversial sale of Crane Bank to dfcu in January 2017. Crane Bank belonged to property mogul Dr Sudhir.
On 19 April, 2018, Kasekende wrote to Attorney General protesting a forensic audit by Auditor General into the operations of the Central Bank among which led to the closure of Crane Bank.
In his letter, Kasekende said the investigative audit on the resolution process of Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) offends the sub-judice rule.
However, Members of Parliament opposed his move saying that the Deputy Governor was trying to shield a mafia clique at the Central Bank which had done more harm than good to the economy of Uganda.
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