By Kagenyi Lukka
Andrew Mwenda, a veteran Ugandan journalist and an outspoken sociopolitical and economic commentator, is a man known for stirring up debate and sometimes in more controversial ways.
He is a man largely lionized as one with the clarity of mind, his ability to eloquently argue with facts is unmatched.
He has made his views about the closure and sale of crane bank loud and clear and, on Friday during his radio program on Kfm, he averred that Louis Kasekende may face jail in the long run. He also didn’t enumerate how BoU, a formerly robust institution is losing its glory due to scandals that have wrecked the institution.
While Mwenda’s view about the possibility of taking Kasekende to the coolers is likely, it is also important that he is relinquished of his role as deputy governor at the Bank of Uganda.
Louis Kasekende is under a probe by parliament about irregularities cited in the auditor general’s special report on defunct banks (1993-2017) and another separate investigation by the Inspector general of government (Igg) regarding his wealth.
The explosion of media including social media has ensured that BoU’s Kasekende’s scandals and misdeeds are kept under regular check. It should be understood that the Bank of Uganda Act makes Louis Kasekende the deputy governor/deputy head of management and also the deputy chair of the board of the central bank.
First and foremost, ever since the crane bank fiasco started, Kasekende’s name has always appeared in every irregularity related disputed takeover (receivership) and later, the bank’s reckless sale.
Worth noting is that he was the deputy governor when GT bank closed in 2014, National bank of commerce in 2012.
What the auditor general’s report confirmed was what had been said and debated over time.
Kasekende, a senior technocrat crossed his hands and legs as Uganda shillings 488 billion was sunk into the defunct crane bank even the auditor general says that Bank of Uganda couldn’t explain the source of the money.
As a supervisor of Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director for commercial bank supervision, he sat and observed as financial statements for the crane bank under receivership weren’t signed. Additionally, the asset movement schedules weren’t prepared as the learned economist sat at Bank of Uganda.
Furthermore, the sidelining of Bank of Uganda’s legal department in the crane bank transactions also happened under the watchful eye of Louis Kasekende. The two firms are; MMAKS Advocates, AF Mpanga (Bowmans) and Sebalu & Lule Advocates. In the scramble and partition of crane bank, the two each earned their exorbitant unfair share of the ‘loot’.
MMAKS Advocates were the retained Bank of Uganda lawyers and the lead transaction advisors in the Crane Bank takeover and subsequent sale to DFCU Bank.
AF Mpanga (Bowmans) on the other hand together with PriceWaterhouseCoopers carried out the forensic audit on Crane Bank, which audit report was relied on to establish the supposed troubles of Crane Bank and the consequent decision to sell it. They were paid Shs1.3billion
The lack of guidelines for sale of defunct banks including crane bank, failure to carry out an evaluation of crane bank’s liabilities and assets, the contested transfer of former properties of Meera Investments to DFCU all happened under Kasekende’s supervision.
Kasekende’s continued stay at the central bank only keeps the bank in bad light of scandals and also, for accountability and legal processes to happen, Kasekende should be dismissed so that he doesn’t influence processes.