Finance (395)

Jumia Black Friday Returns With More Sellers, Deals

Jumia Uganda Wednesday evening launched this year’s version of Jumia Black Fridays promising heavily discounted sales on different products that are traded on the e-commerce platform.

Ron Kawamara, the chief executive officer of Jumia Uganda, said they have signed up on sellers on the platform and partnered with new brands to provide Ugandan shoppers with the widest selection of offers.

He said that when the Jumia Black Friday sales commence on 8th November, till when it ends on 29th November, shoppers can get up to 80 percent on products from Samsung, Hisense, Mewe, Changhong and others.

During this period, shoppers will witness the launch of Redmi 8a selling at only Shs463, 500; while customers who will buy a Nokia 1 plus will also get a Nokia 105 ( a features phone) as a bonus.

“Our Black Friday sale doesn’t just benefit the consumers but it will also bring in more revenue for the sellers listed on our website, our logistics partners and the Uganda economy overall,” Kawamara said.

He revealed that last business worth Shs25bn was traded during last year’s Jumia Black Friday and this number is expected to grow because e-commerce is growing very fast in Uganda and becoming very relevant.

Kawamara stated that they are now selling more Ugandan products and because of this demand for Ugandan products, they are partnering with Ugandan manufacturers to sell their products on the platform.


Auditor General Haunting BoU Over Billions Injected In Crane Bank

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) is unable to recover the Shs 434 billion allegedly pumped into Crane Bank Ltd, before it was controversially sold to dfcu Bank in January 2017, reports PML Daily, a local online publication.

The publication writes that the Auditor General, Mr. John Muwanga, in  his September 23, 2019 report raised queries  on the impairment of amount due from Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) to Bank of Uganda, pursuant to Sections 87 (3), 88 (1) (a) & (b) of the Financial Institutions Act, 2004 (amended in 2016.

The report whose findings are contained in the 2018/2019 annual report of the central bank, notes that the BoU progressed Crane Bank Ltd from Statutory Management to receivership with BoU as the receiver.

“In exercise of its powers as the receiver, under Section 95 (1) (b) of the Financial Institutions Act 2004 (amended in 2016), BoU transferred certain liabilities of Crane Bank Ltd to dfcu Bank Ltd and in consideration of that transfer of liabilities conveyed to dfcu Bank, certain Crane Bank Ltd assets,” the AG noted.

The AG’s report notes that a cash consideration of UGX. 200 billion was agreed yet Bank of Uganda had injected UGX434.846 billion into Crane Bank Ltd during the Statutory Management period as part of the intervention action and the funds were to be recovered from Crane Bank Ltd.

The AG notes that by June 30, 2019, the dfcu Bank had only paid UGX. 140 billion with an outstanding balance of UGX 60 billion for which dfcu Bank is fully secured by Government of Uganda treasury securities.

As such, the outstanding balance on Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) is UGX258.697 billion which comprises of UGX60 billion due from dfcu Bank Limited and UGX217.906 billion due from Crane Bank Limited as at 30 June 2019 yet the amount due from dfcu Bank Limited is interest free and recoverable in the quarter ending Jan 2020.

The auditors noted that BoU performed an impairment assessment of the amount due from Crane Bank Ltd (in receivership) and concluded that the full amount outstanding of UGX 217,906 billion as at June 30, 2019 is impaired due to uncertainty of its recoverability with the AG noting, “The Bank has raised sufficient provisions for receivables whose recoverability is in doubt.”

Youth Group Demands That Mpanga Returns Fees He Earned From BoU

Celebrated city lawyer David F. K. Mpanga of AF Mpanga Advocates, a member of Bowmans Gilfillan Africa Group, has been accused of harboring bad and unethical business practices, dishonesty, lack of integrity, professional ethics and being a conflicted lawyer by Uganda Poor Youth Movement, a local pressure group.

In the same manner, Uganda Poor Youth Movement want Mpanga to return Shs9bn paid to him and his law firm by Bank of Uganda because he didn't offer the services for which he was hired to offer when court kicked him off the case because he was conflicted, having represented Ruparelia Group which the central bank was versing.

Apparently, in 2017, Bank of Uganda hired the services of Mpanga and the law firm to represent them in a case the central bank had filed against Dr Sudhir Ruparelia accusing him of allegedly siphoning Shs397Bn from his Crane Bank before it was taken over by the regulator in 2016.

Mpanga was however thrown off the case after court ruled that he had conflict of interest because he had earlier as counsel represented Sudhir’s Ruparelia Group companies including Crane Bank and was privy to information he could use against his former client.

But even after not offering his legal professional services to the central bank, Mpanga didn’t return the Shs9bn which has been paid to him and it is on that basis that Uganda Poor Youth Movement are pressing him to return the tax payers money or they take legal action against the senior lawyer.

Uganda Poor Youth Movement, led by their speaker Zaid Ssempala, on Friday at a press conference revealed that they have since petitioned several organizations including the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) about the matter such that they can prevail upon Mpanga to refund the tax payers’ money which he pocketed for a job he never did.

“We have petitioned Bowmans Gilfillan African Group, the Uganda Law Society, International Bar Association UK Bar Association and other relevant authorities to get involved in this matter. Mpanga is exhibiting a lot of unprofessionalism and unethical behavior in his mode of operation, reason why these organization have to investigate his actions and institute the necessary disciplinary action he deserves,” Sempala told journalists at the press conference.

“On top of refunding the money BoU gave him for a job he didn’t execute, we also want him to apologize for his unprofessional conduct and wrongs he has committed against Ugandans, including those he disenfranchised before he was fired by Buganda kingdom which had employed him in key positions of offering legal advice to the Kabaka,” he added.

The UPYM also revealed that they have written to the Inspector General of Government and Bank of Uganda notifying them about the matter but that both institutions have never responded, an indication that none of them is willing to recover the dime or compel Mpanga to refund it.

Because of the reluctance from both the IGG and BoU to fight this fraudulent enrichment, the UPYM warned that as tax payers they will not give up on their efforts to make Mpanga vomit the dime and show accountability for the same.

Also, in a letter dated 23rd October, 2019, addressed to Bowmans Gilfillan Africa Group under the tittle 'Complaint against Bad Business Practices, Dishonesty, Unethical Behavior, Conflict of Interest and Lack of Professional Ethics by Mr. David F. F. Mpanga and AF Mpanga Advocates’ UPYM want AF Mpanga and Mpanga punished for their reported bad dealings.

In the letter which highlights some of Mpanga's dealings that are said to be unethical, the youths argue that it is undesirable for a group like Bowmans to have characters such as Mpanga and AF Mpanga within the chain of law firms under their name because it contravenes the regulations and principles of Bowmans.

"As Bowmans, you have a duty to put your partners and members in line, all sorts of scandals have happened under your watch and not even once have you come out to condemn the actions of your partner (David F. K. Mpanga and Bowmans AF Mpanga Advocates) or even apologize to the public, previous clients and parties who have been humiliated publically and financially by people they trusted as their legal minds since lawyers are secret keepers and that's why they have the utmost fiduciary relationship with clients," a letter signed by Sempala reads.

Sempala in the letter also wants Bowmans to take extreme interest in Mr. David F. K. Mpanga's lack of ethics ‘because it directly affect the wider image of Bowmans as a group together with your present and future clientele.’

“We request that you not only condemn the actions of Mr. David F. K. Mpanga and Bowmans AF Mpanga Advocates in the strongest terms but further carry out extensive investigations into his negative actions/or omissions and bad practices and further also apologize to previous clients and other parties for any misdeeds occasioned to them,

We further request that you cease operations with Mr. David F. K. Mpanga because his track record of excellence in the legal profession has been tainted by the worst forms of evils any advocate and for the matter a senior barrister would desire to have attached to their record of service towards clients and the public at large.” the letter reads.

35 SMEs Start Orient Bank Business Academy Training

After a successful vetting process, Orient Bank, a leading commercial bank in Uganda, together with the oldest business education center in Uganda, Makerere University Business School(MUBS) have officially kicked off the 2019 Orient Business Academy with 35 participants selected from the over 100 applicants that applied for the academy in June this year.

Applicants were required to have had a registered business in operation between one and three years, with a turnover below 120million.

Based on the applications received, the bank noted that the highest number of applicants was mainly drawn from the fields of agriculture, trade and e-commerce. Other represented sectors were; education, entertainment, media, transport and logistics, supply chain management, beauty and cosmetics as well as fashion and design.

Out of the initial 100 applicants, 60 applicants were invited to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. Focus was placed on uniqueness of solution and scalability of the business.  

Out of the 60 entrepreneurs who faced the panel, 35 were selected to attend the academy. It is out of these that the top five entrepreneurs will be selected based on their business growth plans, created during the course of the training and funding provided.

 According to the Deputy Manager Career and Skills Development Centre, Dr. Ahmed Walugembe, on behalf of the judges of the Orient Business Academy noted that based on the applications received, many business men and women are now growing more towards the services delivery businesses as compared to manufacturing.

He also noted that the biggest challenge for most of the applicants was failure to clearly define their target market and creating unique selling points for their businesses.

“The biggest challenge we noted was that most of the applicants failed to describe their customer clearly. Someone has a business but doesn’t understand who their target market is. Secondly, many failed to identify the uniqueness of their business idea and how it can benefit the community.

Most applicants failed to differentiate their offering from what is already on the market,” he noted, adding that, “Determination of costs and prices also proved to be a challenge because most of the applicants based their pricing on competition and not on their target market demand or fairness of the cost to the customer.”

The academy focuses on training small scale business owners in the areas of; the entrepreneurship mindset, book keeping, competitive market analysis, marketing, human resource management, operations planning and financial planning.

The Orient Business Academy, which is now underway at The Orient Corporate Center at Nyonyi Gardens, Kololo  has over the past two years trained over 120 small scale business owners and rewarded 10 of them with financial support of up to shs120 million.

DFCU Bank Makes Decision To Return Sudhir’s Buildings To Central Bank

DFCU Bank is returning the 48 buildings that housed Crane Bank to Bank of Uganda, according to a letter the commercial bank’s managing director Mathia Katamba wrote to the Central Bank.

DFCU Bank on September 12, 2019, wrote a letter to Bank of Uganda explaining its decision to return 48 properties the bank has been occupying illegally.

These buildings belonged to property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments and were housing former Crane Bank which he owned before it was illegally sold to DFCU by Bank of Uganda.

The decision to rescind the interest to purchase these properties by DFCU comes after a historic court Victory in favour of Sudhir Ruparelia in August in a case filed against him by Bank of Uganda.

The Bank in a court redress sought a refund of shs 397 billion from the businessman which he allegedly pulled out of Crane Bank before it was taken over by DFCU.

The decision not to purchase the contested 48 properties by DFCU means they will soon vacate the branches and look for new homes.

However, DFCU earlier rubbished these reports that the bank was seeking to relocate the branches and disregarded the information as fake news.

“Following the Court’s ruling above, dfcu Bank Limited in a letter dated September 12, 2019, communicated to BOU its decision to exercise its option to rescind its interest in purchasing the 48 properties pursuant to clause 8.7 of the Agreement,” part of the report released Wednesday reads.

Adding that, “as part of rescinding of this purchase, dfcu will return to Bank of Uganda Certificates of title for Meera Investments Limited properties and requires Bank of Uganda to pay to dfcu the net book value of the properties recorded in the assets and inventory compilation report as at October 20, 2016.”

SOURCE: Trumpet News

DFCU Demands Shs47b From BoU As Compensation After Returning Sudhir’s Properties

DFCU Bank has written a letter to Bank of Uganda (the regulator) expressing its interest to return land titles and securities of 48 properties which housed former Crane Bank before it was fraudulently sold by Bank of Uganda to DFCU.

These properties belonged to businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Limited.

In the sale, however, the Central Bank also handed over the securities of 48 buildings to DFCU without a well-streamlined audit of these properties to establish their value.

According to the Auditor General John Muwanga’s report released last year, he faulted BoU of rushing to sell Crane Bank and instructing the buyer to conduct an audit of the bank.

DFCU hired an audit firm PwC which valued the whole 48 properties at shs 47 billion- a price believed to have been under declared with a motive to pay less stamp duty to tax body Uganda Revenue Authority.

But also on the shs 47 billion, DFCU paid BoU only shs 10 billion for the lease of these properties.

On Wednesday BoU released an annual report which captures information suggesting that DFCU has agreed to return the land titles of 48 Crane Bank Branches and the bank seeks full refund of 47 billion which it claims was the value of the buildings it occupied after 2 years.

Questions lingering are who will be accountable to this 37 billion in case BoU raids coffers to compensate DFCU?

Also if DFCU was given a lease of the buildings under what circumstances does it demand full refund yet it has been occupying the properties.

The whole ping pong is likened to buying a car from a bond at 20 million you pay 40% and after driving it for 3 years you return it to the bond seeking 100% refund.

Expert say, by under declaring the value of the 48 properties while leasing, DFCU was aimed at evading tax which is criminal.

SOURCE: Trumpet News (Read full story HERE)

Orient Bank Partners With Unionpay To Ease Cash-out

Orient Bank Uganda Limited and UnionPay International have announced a partnership in which all UnionPay Cards are now accepted at all ATMs and POS terminals of Orient Bank, one of the leading and fastest-growing banks in Uganda. 

Announcing the partnership in Kampala today, Darshana Bhatia, Orient Bank Executive Director said, “This is yet another demonstration of our commitment to anticipate and meet our customer needs through technology, innovation and partnership.

Uganda  and China enjoy a robust trading relationship which relies greatly on each country’s integration into the global financial system if ease of doing business is to be attained.” 

UnionPay International is accelerating the promotion of digitized payments in East Africa. Today, UnionPay has over 80% acceptance on ATMs in Uganda and over 85% acceptance on POS terminals. 

Mr. Luping Zhang, General Manager of UnionPay International Africa Branch said, “This partnership will offer holders of UnionPay cards a seamless payment experience. Based on this collaboration, the two sides will explore future cooperation in rolling out UnionPay’s innovative products, including UnionPay QR Code payment and B2B online payment.” 

Orient Bank has continued its quest to provide fast, convenient and safe payment systems to serve its niche customers in SME and High Networth Banking Segments. 

This partnership will further boost trade between Uganda and China as visitors from China will be able to process payments at Orient bank ATMs and Point of Sale terminals across various merchants. 

In partnership with more than 2,000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay has enabled card acceptance in 176 countries and regions and realised card issuance in 58 countries and regions.

UnionPay provides high quality, cost-effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and millions of merchants.


Ruparelia Ready For Bank Of Uganda In Crane Bank Case Appeal

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has vowed to face the Central Bank in the appeal court after the Bank of Uganda declined to concede defeat in the face of a High Court ruling last month that condemned them to costs.

The appeal followed an earlier botched plot by the Bank of Uganda to recover UGX397 billion from the city businessman, whose Crane Bank Ltd was controversially closed by the BoU in 2016.

While, unveiling a magnificent Electrical Plaza, one of his new buildings in Kampala on Saturday, Sudhir said he was more than ready to meet the central bank in court.

“Me, I am ready, today, tomorrow and the other day. Let me tell you, law is law, nobody can reinvent law. You see they created this law to protect themselves. They are saying no body can sue them. So we used the same law to defeat them,” he told journalists.

The property Mogul said Bank of Uganda officials had acted arrogantly in the closure of some banks including his Crane Bank Ltd but the law had caught up with them.

“We used the same law they used to protect themselves to defeat them. If anybody has sense in Bank of Uganda, they have such dumb lawyers there. If their lawyers knew the law they are supposed to enforce, this could have not happened,” he said.

A simple calculation by industry experts revealed that BoU could pay upto UGX110 billion as the battle with city tycoon in the aftermath of the closure of Crane Bank Ltd rages.

Justice David Wangutusi of Commercial Court on last month dismissed a case in which BoU claimed that tycoon Mr. Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Ltd fleeced his own Crane Bank Ltd (now in receivership) of UGX397 billion.

Bank of Uganda, through their new attorney Dr. Joseph Byamugisha of Byamugisha & Co Ltd however chosen to file an appeal. It is not known when court will start hearing the appeal.


Cooperative Bank Closure: Tushabe Says BoU Has Frustrated Him For 20 Years

The Central Bank Governor, Emmanuel Mutebile has asked for more time to respond to allegations made by businessman Chris Tushabe who accused several officials at Bank of Uganda of frustrating his efforts at having access to his bank accounts details following the closure of Cooperative Bank.

While appearing before the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Thursday, August 29, Tushabe made a number of allegations claiming that Justine Bagyenda, former Executive Director Banking Supervision and Bernard Ssekabira, Director Financial Markets of frustrating and selling off his property despite documents indicating he owed no loans to the defunct Cooperative Bank.

Tushabe told the Committee that even when President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive in 1999 to have all clients of Cooperative Bank be paid their money, 20 years down the road, he has never been paid and protracted court battles haven’t helped matters.

Struggling to contain his emotions, Tushabe said, “Bank of Uganda has absolutely no reason to hold my legitimate money and property. In November 1998, my young accountant who was 26years was removed from a bus in an ambush at night, brutally murdered and his mutilated body dumped in Queen Elizabeth National Park. He was on his way from a reconciliation exercise with Bank of Uganda officials in Kampala and my accounts documents were the only thing missing.”

He also said that his pursuit for his money also put his life at risk and saw him survive a number of assassination and in one attempt, his business colleague was murdered in what was an apparent case of mistaken identity.

“This gives you an idea on the fear and hostile atmosphere in which I have pursued my money from Bank of Uganda for more than 20years. When BOU took over Cooperative Bank officials refused to give me copies of my bank accounts. BOU’s denial of justice to me and release my bank account documents with impunity is due to the fact that officials who had mismanaged the Cooperative Bank were retained to liquidate the bank that they had run down,” said Tushabe.

He also accused Bank of Uganda of coercing him into selling his prime property in Nakasero Emin Pasha cheaply and was shocked when he received a demand notice of UGX424m in 2018 or risk going to jail.

“Although I have fought the war, I am seriously bruised and wounded. BOU admitted that my property worth 1.4bn was mismanaged. By 1998 was a high profile businessman. I have refused being compromised to pay bribes which was an option available. Through all these I have remained determined to get justice from BOU but all in vain.”

In his prayers, Tushabe is asking for refund of the Shs3Bn he held on his account at an interest rate of 25% as of 19th May 1999, as well as UGX600M he paid in bank draft which money ended up being swallowed by fraudsters at the Central Bank, monthly income rental of UGX5m per property from May 1999.

There was a contention by Mutebile who had initially declined to take an oath arguing, “Let us not make an issue here. I am not speaking today. I am not going to speak today because I hadn’t been prepared for the questions asked.”

COSASE Chairperson Mubaraka Munyagwa insisted on having Mutebile take oath arguing, “We made a ruling that whoever is testified for must take an oath. Oath isn’t a punishment. I don’t think there is any impunity that will be tolerated. I am one of the people that respect him most, but nobody will testify here without taking an oath.”

Margaret Kasule, Director Legal Affairs at Bank of Uganda said that Tushabe raised a number of claims which are subject to court proceedings and there is need to check for documents in the archives to respond to Tushabe allegations. Mutebile asked, “Can we have two weeks because these are serious matters, we have to search for archives.”

Source: PML Daily

Sudhir Wins Against BoU In Crane Bank Case

Commercial Court has Monday morning delivered a ruling of a case in which businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his real estate company Meera Investment were being accused of fraud by the central bank through Crane Bank Limited (In Receivership).

In the ruling, Justice David Wangutusi of Commercial Court dismissed the allegations and ordered Bank of Uganda to pay for costs the applicants incurred.

The businessman, in Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017, is accused of stealing from Crane Bank Ltd, a bank he founded in 1995, Shs397bn over the years before it was taken over by the regulator in October 2016 for alleged mismanagement and insolvency while the same suit sought to have Meera Investment to hand over land on which Crane Bank had elected its branches to the central bank.

However, Dr. Ruparelia and Meera Investments filed an application against Crane Bank Limited (In Receivership) protesting that Crane Bank had no locus standi to sue, that the plaint in Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017 does not disclose a cause of action against the Applicant, that orders sought against the 2nd Applicant (Meera Investments) in Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017 are barred in law and that Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017 be dismissed with costs.

In court's pronouncement, Justice Wangutusi has agreed with Mr. Sudhir’s lawyers and maintained that BoU/Crane Bank (in receivership) did not have a legal basis to sue Sudhir.

“The end result is that once Crane Bank was put under Statutory Management, its Board of Directors was suspended. If there was to be any suit, it would be brought by the Central Bank as the Statutory manager under section 89(2)(e) or by the Liquidator with approval of the Central Bank under section 100(1)(a) of the Financial Institutions Act.”

“These two were empowered to initiate and defend court action by the Financial Institution Act which interestingly left out the Receiver. The Legislature did not want any court action against the Receiver. So Counsel’s submission that their right to sue was reserved by its company status cannot be sustained.”

“It follows that the Respondent under Receivership lacked locus standi. Without locus standi its attempt at filing a suit was null abi nitio.”

The Applicants’ (Dr. Ruparelia and Meera Investment) also in their application contend that it would be illegal to transfer freehold titles to the Respondent because she is a noncitizen. Bank of Uganda had sought that Meera Investment must deliver freehold certificates of title to 48 properties comprising the Crane Bank’s countrywide branch network together with duly executed transfer deeds.

Court however exclaimed that the law on ownership of land by noncitizens is crystal clear. Noncitizens cannot own land under Freehold or Mailo. For a company to hold land under the tenure herein described it must prove its citizenship.

And because Crane Bank majority shareholding were held by White Saphire Ltd (47.33%), a Mauritius registered company, and businessman Jitendra Sanghai (4%), a non-Ugandan, both entities amassing 51 percent ownership, it was regarded as a foreign company and cannot own land under the law of Uganda.

“For a company to hold land under the tenure herein described it must prove its citizenship. It is clear from the evidence on record that the majority of the shares were owned by White Sapphire, a company incorporated in Mauritius.

“That it owned the majority shares was a matter well known by the Central Bank because 47.33% of the shareholding was transferred to White Sapphire with the approval of the Bank of Uganda.

“Consequently any orders awarding delivery of Freehold title to the Plaintiff/ Respondent would be illegal and barred in law. The Respondent cannot hold freehold and any pleadings seeking court orders to that effect amount to no cause of action.

And because Crane Bank liabilities were transferred to DFCU, and because it is Bank of Uganda which instituted the suit, court has said will be liable to pay costs to the applicants.

"From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the suit was filed by Bank of Uganda. Since section 96 of the Financial Institutions Act insulated Crane Bank under Receivership from court proceedings, execution or other legal processes the person that should pay costs should be the person who instituted the suit and that is Bank of Uganda.

"This is so because Crane Bank in Receivership had no capacity to foot the costs and much so the Bank of Uganda that instituted the suit was aware of this incapacity.

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