After the departure of Jimmy D. Mugerwa to Tullow Oil plc in London only in August, emerging reports indicate that Dfcu Bank is on the clandestine hunt for a new person to replace him as Chairman of the board of directors.
“We are looking for Mugerwa’s replacement and anytime we shall announce that person,” a top executive at the bank said on condition of anonymity for he is not authorised to speak to the press on such sensitive matters.
He added that the bank is looking for the person with integrity who can help it redeem its image that was tarnished after it was established it controversially acquired its rival Crane Bank Limited (CBL) in January 2017.
The new Chairman, if appointed will work hand -in-hand with the new Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba who only joined the bank in January 2019 after the resignation of Juma Kisaame whose reign at the helm of that institution would later create controversy due to bad business deals he signed as CEO of the bank.
The source further said the new Chairman will be tasked to normalize work relations between top managers of the bank who he says are antagonistic to each. It should be remembered that before Katamba was brought in from Housing Finance Bank, it was rumoured the then Chief of Business and Executive Director of Dfcu Bank William Sekabembe would take over from Kisaame.
The appointment of Katamba, according to insiders did go well with Sekabembe especially that he declined to take up the role of Managing Director at KCB Uganda in anticipation that he would succeed Kisaame. “He felt unappreciated by the board after Katamba was appointed,” a source said.
Now among others, the new Chairman being hunted will have to work hard to ensure that top managers at the bank work together to take it to higher levels.
Meanwhile, Mugerwa, the first Ugandan General Manager for oil company Tullow Oil Uganda was recalled to Tullow Oil PLC in London in a move analysts said was a result of the bad press Mugerwa had been attracting as Dfcu bank’s board chairman. This, according to insiders, had been tarnishing Tullow Oil’s international image.
Mugerwa got the job because of his experience as a top manager at Shell and his expertise in government relations, which Tullow needed badly.
Mugerwa who previously worked in Shell’s East Africa business where he was General Manager of Sales & Operations and served as Shell Kenya Country Chairman, a position he has held since October 2009, has however had a rough corporate ride both at Tullow and Dfcu.
Mugerwa was appointed Tullow Oil General Manager when the partners within the Lake Albert Graben were about to embark on a major oil development which would see Uganda enter the league of oil producing nations.
However, Mugerwa’s stewardship at Tullow Oil Uganda had not achieved much, with the farm down facing challenges as US $900 million oil block sale in Albertine Graben remains to be concluded due to tax disagreement between government and Tullow Oil as well as Total and CNOOC.
As chairman Dfcu bank, Mugerwa helped the bank to acquire Crane Bank Limited, which became controversial, leading to the resignation Kisaame after receiving assets of CBL at only Shs200 billion, paid in installments, without interest on top.
The investigation by the Auditor General and the probe by Uganda Parliament on the seven banks closed by the Bank of Uganda (BoU), unmasked Dfcu bank as a player in fraudulent transactions that led to the purchase of assets of Crane Bank Limited and Global Trust Bank Uganda in January 2017 and 2014 respectively.
The bad press that followed Dfcu and BoU left Mugerwa and other top bank managers open to professional criticism over their judgement and decisions taken.
Mugerwa also watched as Sebalu $ Lule Advocates misadvised the bank to transfer freehold land titles CBL/ Meera Investments Limited into its names after acquiring the former rival. Dfcu Bank is currently searching for other rental spaces in a bid to move some of its branch operations from the contested properties.