TAKEOVER: Bank of Uganda bullion vans ferry documents from Crane Bank on Kampala Road.

A security report detailing how Kampala-based ‘mafias’ hatched a plan to takeover Crane Bank has emerged, with details describing it as an inside job at Bank of Uganda, allegedly carried out without the knowledge of the Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.

According to the report, it is alleged that three top BoU directors reportedly connived with a flamboyant and ‘well-connected’ Minister to have Crane Bank declared non-performing, as they planned to sell it to some Asian Investors.

The two directors, one male hailing from Buganda and two ladies, are said to have given useful information to the minister, and the minister (who happens to be a close friend of the directors of Crane Bank) in turn briefed the ‘so called’ investors on the ‘plan by BoU’ to sell the third largest and best performing bank in the country, allegedly because the owners of the bank had tasked him to source for the would be investor to recapitalize the bank.

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The plan was reportedly hatched in 2013 and as all this was unfolding, the directors of Crane Bank were unaware of the scheme.

However, at the beginning of year 2014, the three BoU directors are said to have indicated to the Crane Bank management how ‘poorly the bank was performing and the need to recapitalize the bank’.

According to sources, to the management of Crane bank, this was news to them because they had never been warned about ‘the poor performance’ by BoU.

However, the report says that in response to the issue of recapitalization, the Crane Bank directors indicated to the BoU officials that they were recovering money from the creditors who had taken loans and that in a year’s time, the Crane Bank would have enough capital to operate.

The reply by Crane Bank bosses was however, ignored and the unknown scheme by the already determined mafias went on, the report further indicates.

Nevertheless, Crane Bank put its foot down insisting and in the process the so called investors realized there was something ‘fishy’ and abandoned the deal.

It is at this point, the report indicates, that the BoU raided Crane Bank and took over its management and later on brought DFCU on board. However, what remains unknown is whether DFCU was brought on board to cater for the interests of the same mafias.

By press time efforts to get comment from BoU Director of Communications Christine Alupo were futile as she did not answer to her known phone number.

It is worth recalling that late last month the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) cited Uganda’s foreign minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa and his wife Edith Kutesa Gasana in plans to board of ‘a local bank’ to some investors.


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