By Lawrence Kazooba
It is no longer news that senior lawyer Timothy Masembe is one of the lawyers representing Bank of Uganda in the trial involving Crane Bank which was sold to Dfcu Bank.
Law firms of Masembe (MMAKS) and top lawyer David Mpanga (AF Mpanga Advocates) are representing the central bank in a bid to force former Crane Bank owner Sudhir Ruparelia pay back billions of shillings after talks fell flat to settle the matter amicably.
Masembe and Mpanga have been retained by the Central Bank and the tax payers money has been paid upfront to the two law firms to ensure Sudhir pays the money BoU wants him to pay.
However the property mogul has pleaded that BoU has flaunted a secret agreement they had made and has demanded that the central bank pays him back over $8 million he had paid as part of the deal, before they can successfully take him to court.
Before the issue above is settled, also Sudhir lawyers Kampala Associated Advocates want both Mpanga and Masembe out of the case as they have in the past represented the business.
Last week it emerged that Masembe and Mpanga both denied to have represented Sudhir in any way in the past.
That was until it emerged that Masembe, actually represented Sudhir in four cases, as recent as March 15, 2014.
Documents show Masembe represented Rosebud, Meera Investment, Speke Hotel and Crane Bank.
The lawyer Joel Coax Ojuko who won Sh90 million from Sudhir says “MMAKS Advocates was represented by Mr Masembe himself,” after Sudhir accepted to pay money he had worked for.
Masembe however says he was not working for Sudhir but Crane Bank.
Talking to Daily Monitor, Masembe sought to distinguish between Sudhir and his companies that he was working for.
“I have worked for Crane Bank and I still work for it but Sudhir is Sudhir, not those business entities.”
In the case BoU brought against Sudhir, lawyers sought to prosecute Sudhir as a person, even if he pleaded that he was different from faults of Crane Bank, saying you cannot divorce Sudhir from his bank. It is turns out Mr Masembe is again turning around to separate the two.
Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia has petitioned High Court, seeking to throw out two prominent law firms that are representing Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank in receivership in a Shs397 billion dispute.
After the Central Bank through MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates sued Mr Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Company seeking recovery of billions of Shillings, in his August 3 defence, the property mogul however, listed the BoU lawyers as his key witnesses and cited conflict of interest.
In a 14-page affidavit he filed in the Commercial Court on September 6, the businessman, who accuses BoU lawyers of conflict of interest, argues that MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga were representing Crane Bank before receivership and on account of “an advocate-client relationship and a fiduciary relationship” it will be incongruous for them prosecute their former client.
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