Top officials at the Bank of Uganda are divided over the procedures undertaken by the Central Bank that have led to the current stand-off between BoU and city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, the owner of now-defunct Crane Bank.
According to sources, some top managers argue that the BoU, through its Bank Supervision Directorate headed by Ms. Justine Bagyenda, failed to execute its mandate, a development that partly culminated in the case that is currently before the Commercial Court.
Another issue, the Crane Bank protagonists at the Central Bank argue, is that the BoU had not exhausted all avenues that could lead to a negotiated settlement of the stand-off.
“Over the past many years the Crane Bank was intermittently awarded several accolades as the best-performing bank, so how can it all of a sudden become the worst?” a source, one of the top managers in BoU wondered.
The source added: “Clearly someone was not doing their job and that cannot be faulted on Sudhir alone; indeed, it seems like a shared omission of responsibility which can also be settled out of court.”
Through MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates, the BoU sued businessman Ruparelia and his business arm, Meera Investments, in efforts to recover US$93.8 million and Shs60.3 billion (over Shs300 billion) allegedly siphoned from Crane Bank, an accusation that is contested by the businessman.
Efforts to contact the BoU Director of Communication Christine Alupo were by press time, futile.
Last year the BoU took over management of the Crane Bank, and early this boarded it off to the dfcu Bank for a yet-undisclosed sum of money.