City lawyers Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi and David Mpanga are reportedly set to tussle it out with the Bank of Uganda, after their contract to represent the central bank in a case involving Crane Bank (in receivership) and city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, was allegedly terminated illegally.
According to sources, the lucrative multi-million shilling contract of Masembe Kanyerezi of MMAKS and Mpanga of AF Mpanga-Bowmans law firms was terminated and reassigned to Messrs. Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates, without the sanction of the BoU Board of Directors, a situation that the source said might pave the way for a legal showdown between the two parties.
The source further said that the two lawyers were stunned when they went to court to carry on with their assignment in court on Monday, only to be told that the Sebalu, Lule and Company Advocates law firm had been given the new instructions through a contract that is reportedly valued at US$800,000, to represent the BoU in a mediation with Mr. Ruparelia.
By press time efforts to talk to BoU spokesperson Christine Alupo about the reported developments were futile.
Two days ago the EagleOnline broke the story of the ‘termination’ of the BoU contracts with Masembe Kanyerezi and Mpanga, after it emerged that the Central Bank and Mr. Ruparelia had agreed to a mediation, in the dispute regarding the closure of Crane Bank that also involves over US$60 million.
It is worth noting that following the closure of Crane Bank in December 2016 and subsequent retaining of MMAKS by BoU, Mr. Ruparelia dragged the law firm to the Commercial Court, accusing one of its principal partners, Timothy Masembe, of conflict of interest, because his law firm MMAKS had also acted for Crane Bank, where Mr. Ruparelia is a shareholder.
At the time Mr. Ruparelia also opposed the representation of BoU by lawyer David Mpanga, on the same grounds, with the city businessman also accusing the BoU of breaching ‘Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement’ (CSRA) when it sued him.
“I am advised by my lawyers, whose advice I verily believe to be true, that all the money under the CSRA was the strict entitlement of the Bank of Uganda only and Crane Bank Limited (in Receivership) has no right to the $52m or any sum of money under the CSRA as the clause specifically states “that the $60m shall be paid to BOU (Bank of Uganda),” Mr. Ruparelia responded in a depone by his lawyers, Messrs. Kampala Associated Advocates.