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Sudhir Ruparalia and lawyers respond to BOU statement criticizing Court of Appeal for dismissing the case

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Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), the law firm representing city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia have responded to a statement issued by the Bank of Uganda’s Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile criticizing Court of Appeal’s decision dismissing the case in which BoU (Crane Bank in receivership) sued the businessman.

In a well detailed statement, KAA lawyers say that the statement circulated by the Bank of Uganda to the media contained many inaccuracies and falsehoods.

We reproduce the full statement below;

We act for and on behalf of Dr Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Limited. Our attention has been drawn to a press release issued by Bank of Uganda on 30th June 2020. The press release was issued on behalf of Crane Bank Limited by the Governor of the Bank of Uganda and published in the print and social media in Uganda. It contained many inaccurate and false statements. Our instructions are to correct the public record.

Why the Case was dismissed by the Court:

1. High Court Civil Suit 493 of 2017 (the suit forming the subject of the appeal) was filed by the Bank of Uganda in the names of Crane Bank Limited in Receivership.

The High Court considered the case and determined that it was not legally tenable as there was no cause of action. The case was accordingly dismissed. There is no court in any part of the world that can proceed to hear a case where no cause of action is disclosed.

2. In both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the Bank of Uganda addressed the Courts urging them to ignore the fact that it had no cause of action and proceed to hear the case anyway. Bank of Uganda was inviting the courts to ignore the law. Both Courts rejected this legally untenable plea that is now being made in the press.

3. The Court of Appeal in its written judgment stated at page 16 that:

“The Appellant {Bank of Uganda} raises an issue that the court ought to have overlooked the preliminary objections and instead looked at the matter on its merits… we respectfully disagree with the Appellant that if a pleading does not disclose a cause of action or locus standi, the courts should still inquire into the merits of the main case. That would be an action in futility. The courts are not meant to award moot judgments. If a person has no cause of action, then the merits of the case cannot be inquired into lest the court may end up condemning a party who should not have been condemned.”

4. The Bank of Uganda should not be allowed to disrespect the

Courts, when it is the one that went to the courts to seek redress in the first place. If they are unhappy with the decisions of the Court, the legal remedy is to file an appeal and not to criticize the court in the press.

The false claim that tax payers’ money was injected into Crane Bank and Bank of Uganda’s failure to account for it:

5. Bank of Uganda makes a false allegation that tax payers’ money was used to settle Crane Bank Depositors. This statement is used several times in the press statement but it is not part of the case Bank of Uganda filed. It is an allegation designed to sway public opinion, and has nothing to do with the case.

6. Independent inquiries conducted by both the Auditor General and the

Parliament of Uganda (COSASE Committee) have all reported that there was no evidence to support Bank of Uganda’s claims that tax payers’ money was allegedly spent on paying depositors. Money went missing from Bank of

Uganda and remains unaccounted for.

7. Ever since Bank of Uganda took over Crane Bank, it has not published any audited accounts of the Crane Bank. There are no audited accounts for the period of Statutory Management or Receivership. This means that there are no documents of Crane Bank Limited that prove the Bank of Uganda’s allegation that it injected tax payers’ money into Crane Bank.

8. The Head of the legal department at Bank of Uganda in sworn evidence before the High Court stated on oath that Bank of Uganda had not made any loss of money on account of Crane Bank and that it had no legal interest in any case against shareholders. This statement on oath means that Bank of Uganda did not inject into Crane Bank any tax payers’ money.

In direct contradiction of this oath and pleadings filed in court, Bank of Uganda now claims in the press that it is seeking tax payers’ money that it had used to pay depositors.

9. Bank of Uganda’s auditors stated that the money Crane Bank Limited needed to survive was only 130bn shillings. Bank of Uganda alleges (without evidence or any rationale) that it injected 497 billion into Crane Bank and has failed to account for it as shown by both the COSASE and Auditor General’s Reports.

10. There is no forensic Report of any kind that states that US $92 million was extracted from Crane Bank by Dr. Ruparelia as Bank of Uganda alleges in the press statement.

11. Crane bank was subjected to numerous annual, quarterly and special audits and all its financial statements were approved every year by the Bank of Uganda without reservation of any kind. Not one of them alleged any extraction by Dr. Ruparelia. This allegation is absurd.

The unreliability of Bank of Uganda’s so-called

forensic investigation:

12. This so-called forensic investigation undertaken by Bank of Uganda is unreliable because the investigators did not interview Dr. Ruparelia, or the Managing Director or the Executive Director as required under forensic audit guidelines. A forensic audit cannot make conclusions without hearing both sides of an issue. This irredeemably taints the so-called forensic investigation and makes the findings unreliable.

A one-sided forensic investigation is not an objective investigation and cannot stand up to legal scrutiny.

13. The official reason given by Bank of Uganda to the public for the takeover of management of Crane Bank Limited was under capitalization due to provisioning for nonperforming loans, not the so-called extraction that is alleged in the press statement, which is an attempt to soil Dr. Ruparelia’s image.

The false allegation that Dr. Ruparelia owned 100% of Crane Bank:

14. The allegation that Dr. Ruparelia owned 100% of Crane Bank is false. All the shareholders of Crane Bank were vetted and approved by the Bank of Uganda in accordance with the Financial Institutions Act.

The allegations made about a settlement agreement:

15. The case Bank of Uganda filed in the High Court and the Appeal in the

Court of Appeal did not include any claims of any kind or any allegations of any kind in relation to a settlement agreement with Dr. Ruparelia. Because Dr. Ruparelia has filed a counter claim, whose subject matter is based on that settlement agreement, the Sub Judice rule precludes him from elaborating more on that matter here.

Constitutional Bar to the claims made against Meera Investments Limited:

16. Meera Investments Limited is a separate legal entity that is not regulated by Bank of Uganda and holds a reversionary interest in real property that the Bank of Uganda would like to take over without any legal basis and in violation of the Constitution of Uganda. This issue was considered by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal and was rejected both times on constitutional grounds. The Bank of Uganda wants the Courts to disregard the Constitution of Uganda to give them what they want.

Bank of Uganda’s complaint in the press that the Courts are limiting its powers to supervise closed banks:

17. It is not the Judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal that restrict the powers of Bank of Uganda in resolution of closed banks as suggested by the Bank of Uganda in the press statement.

Both judgments stated clearly that the limitation on Bank of Uganda’s powers are found in the Financial Institutions Act.

If the Bank of Uganda is unhappy with those limitations, the appropriate remedy should be to seek to reform the law and amend the statute. It should not be to criticize the Courts in the press as it has done.

Dr Sudhir Ruparelia reserves the right to challenge these malicious and ill founded allegations.

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Celebrity Gossip

Meet The New Singing Duo The Executives ready to take on the music scene by storm

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The Executives is a Ugandan male singing Duo consisting of a 29 year old Hustle King born Paul Owor and Kirunda Derrick aka Hustle Chief.

The duo is signed to Gifted Music Group which is also owned by Paul Owor. Having tried out artist management which was also a successful venture, managing a couple of sold out artists like Allan Toniks, Latinum, Ziza Bafana and Sheena Skies among others, the two have now decided to trake the matters in their own hands by hitting the studio to record music

Earlier today they released their first single Tonjagala and officially kick started their musical journey and this is one of the many they are yet to release.

Tonjagala was recorded and produced by legendary singer, songwriter and Producer Daddy Andre who also features on the same track

According to the Duo, the video of the song is already underway and will be out by next week latest.

Here is the Audio listen to it

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Celebrity Gossip

Biography: All you need to know about singer Freeboy

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Mandela Mubarak aka Freeboy the Afrikan sound born in 1988 in Arua inspired by his single mothers love for legendary record players which she played and listened to at her small suburb kiosk and small shop popularized by the sound attractions of Afrigo band, Oliver Mutukuzi, Philly Collins, Lucky dube and the cultural kadongo kamu sound way back during the post war era of Uganda.

Free from the shackles of a typical African child orphaned by the bullets of war to his late father he has effortlessly beat the odds to be free from the past and inspire the African child struggling with confidence of bening less privileged to portray stories of strength in his music that he hopes will inspire and create a generation of brave, confident and hardworking young Africans thus depicting his story telling style of music blended with a modern urban touch of entertaining dance and a word of inspiration and admiration.

He started doing music while in school in 2002 and that is when he got a chance to record his first song in one of the first recording studios in Arua town. This was sponsored by his elder brother. In 2011, he joined Baboon forest after traveling to Kampala in search of bigger opportunities. Things did not work out as expected so he returned to Arua to find a suitable stand and win the love of his people.

This is where his music took a turn, he discovered himself, his sound & also earned the love & respect of his people making him of the biggest artist in the West Nile region for the past couple of years. In 2018 he got signed to VIVA Entertainment Limited a West Nile based record label that helped him record his first videos that introduced him to the rest of the country ( Uganda ) and this is where he is to date.

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Uganda News

Black Wall Street adds 6 top African celebrities

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Black Wall Street led by Charles N Lambert has today announced addition of 6 more Continental stars to the BWS. The stars added today are from Tanzania and Kenya. From Tanzania, Ringo (comedian), Amby Lusekelo(Actress and writer), Ankoo Zumo(Comedian) and Mkali Wenu(Award winning comedian) while from Kenya. From Kenya BWS has recruited Veteran Actor Raymond Ofula and Veteran Actress Mama Kayai.

Chairman Charles Lambert posted “It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon news at BWS House as we receive news that the following 6 top African celebrities have joined the cause of the economic war and the 28 Apps. We are delighted to have you join us in one voice for Africa.

As we expand this plaform for Africa’s unity through common economic interest, I urge everyone to remember that we are not fighting a protectionist war but one of pursuit of treasures in nations far from our shores.”

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Celebrity Gossip

Photos: Wakiso based Bishop Arnold Muwonge through Spice Diana runs to aid orphaned dwarfs

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Wakiso based Bishop Muwonge through Spice Diana yesterday ran to aid orphaned dwarfs in Kansanga where the children were starving ever since their fending mother passed on.

Among the delivered items were food styff like Matooke, Rice, Sugar, bread, beans, posho among others. Musa and Mellisa are the 2 children of former dancer who left her kids only toddlers. They have since survived on volunteers until Spice Diana using het voice reached out to Bishop Arnold Muwonge and through him delivered food in this lockdown.

“It’s important to appreciate the impact of lockdowns on people with disabilities.

These wonderful families and children with a condition known as dwarfism have almost been forgotten to the extent of starvation. We are helping and praying with them plus engaging the authorities on the matter… This months our food and medical relief efforts are focusing on people with disabilities.” Arnold Muwonge wrote on his timeline.

Arnold Muwonge is the proprietor of NDE network, Kampala Children Centre, Stride academy and Destiny Bridge academy in Wakiso.

Here are some moments from the give away yesterday. 

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