Since billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia once again trounced Bank of Uganda in the COURT OF APPEAL, many analysts have come out to assess what went wrong.
Many people wrongly conclude Sudhir wins because he is wealthy, and can afford the best lawyers in town.
Whereas it’s a fact Sudhir lawyers are really very good good, the truth of the matter is that Bank of Uganda can also afford them. Actually, BoU has more money to its disposal than Sudhir and the central bank proves it now and again by retaining MMKAS at millions of shillings every year, on top of its legal team which never steps in court.
BoU has also splashed billions of cash on different sets law firms since these Sudhir cases started in 2017, which means they have outspent Sudhir by billions.
What has not changed however, is that they have lost every argument because more evidence keeps popping out indicating Crane Bank was closed for other reasons other than its liquidation challenges.
What is therefore coming out is BoU managers, particularly former deputy governor Louis Kasekende and former executive director in charge of commercial banks, acted with impunity, not just with Crane Bank but also other Banks which were buried before Crane Bank.
Since BoU went after Sudhir, the same managers are not driven by conviction for getting justice for Crane Bank shareholders and customers, but to succeed in burying their skeletons, using Crane Bank as a conduit for hiding their dubious deals.
More needs to be seen if however the exits of old wine and entrances of new people at the Central Bank could change anything. These new managers have a chance of breathing fresh air into the thinking of the Central Bank.
The new management at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) hence, could not have received better news reminding them of one of the most urgent assignments at their desks… Which is to disposing off this Crane Bank justice seeking ghost, among other outcries.
There’s a new board, deputy governor, and several executive directors and directors who should not want to walk into the mud left behind by their self seeking predecessors, but have it cleaned ahead of their terms.
Appeals defeat a wake up call
Another defeat by billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, June 23, was a wake up call that there are skeletons allover the corridors of the central bank that need clearing for them to move forward without unnecessary heavy luggages.
The Tuesday multi-billion case ruling in which Bank of Uganda had sued Sudhir and his Meera Investments Ltd to recover about sh397 billion turned against them. As their lawyers continue to blunder, pushing the Bank into further legal battles, it exposes the central bank further, and leaving it makes and broke.
In a ruling read by Court Registrar Mary Babirye, the panel of judges led by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and justices Cheborion Barishaki and Steven Musota, unanimously ruled that they found no misconduct against Sudhir Ruparelia to warrant litigation.
BoU was ordered to pay costs of the suit. It should be remembered, BoU had been defeated in the High Court last year, many analysts advised against appealing. Yet, the Bank lawyers pushed BoU managers to exhaust legal channels against the interests of tax payers who will pay the bill finally, which is in Billions of shillings.
Bank of Uganda hid behind Crane bank to accused Sudhir of collapsing a business, in which he had a sizeable stake.
In their ruling the justices of the Court of Appeal noted that at the time of the filing of the suit in January 2017, Crane Bank Ltd was already in receivership and a non-existing entity whose lifetime was terminated when the central bank sold its assets to dfcu Bank in October 2016, cannot sue.
Reports are abound that Ms. Margaret Kasule, BoU’s head of legal wants the case to move to the supreme Court. Again, credible sources say, lawyers prompting this line of thought were same behind the regrettable closure of Crane Bank.
After Crane Bank closure, BoU sought to recover sh397 billion from it’s shareholders alongside 48 land titles of buildings where CBL was operating from. The buildings had been given to dfcu, but the commercial Bank has since returned them to the Central Bank, after realizing the legal and financial consequences of their continued occupation.
Dfcu has since quietly revisited their growth plans, on receiving sound advice. However, Bank of Uganda continues to walk stubbornly into the dark, ignoring warnings of landmines on the way, but have continued to explode on the feet of the top most bank in the country. And it’s this turning a deaf ear to the advice of the reasonable people that Bank of Uganda keeps losing in courts, and worst of all, its leaders failing to answer the right call on how to stop the bleeding of the Central Bank.
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