Museveni advice ignored
The Sudhir, Crane Bank, Bank of Uganda, dfcu saga has sacked in almost all the voices that matter in Uganda’s financial sector, including President Yoweri Museveni.
Before Justice Wangutusi started hearing the case, he warned both Sudhir and Crane Bank to settle their issues out of court because “whoever loses in court will pay heavily”.
President Museveni also advised that the issues be settled out of court but the position at BoU was reportedly divided. While central bank Governor Mutebile reportedly favoured an out of court settlement, his Deputy, Louis Kasekende, reportedly favoured a court battle and lined up a battery of some of the leading commercial lawyers in town.
When it emerged that some of the lawyers were billing Bank of Uganda billions of shillings, Kasekende’s move was criticised as a ploy. Many wondered why BoU which has some of the finest commercial lawyers on its staff would hire expensive private advocates. And, as with this case, the bills just keep piling up on BOU.
This is not the first time that Sudhir is winning a case against BoU following the controversial take over and sale of his Crane Bank to dfcu.
In April this year, he defeated the central bank through courts and blocked BoU lawyers of MMAKS Advocates and Sebalu& Lule Advocates – who were also his former lawyers – from representing it in cases related to him. He cited conflict of conflict.
He also sued the central bank for non-refund of licence fees following the closure of four of his forex bureaus about two years ago. He was paid about Shs280million.
The four forex bureaus were closed in 2017 by BoU for allegedly not being “fit” and lacking integrity. They are Crane Forex Bureau (Speke Hotel), Crane Forex Bureau (Kampala Road), StanHope Forex Bureau De Change and Red Fox Bureau De Change.