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PML Daily News RoundUp: MTN, New Vision to face court over ‘malice’, BoU officials sweat before MPs as detectives net Stella Nyanzi for insulting Museveni, deceased mother; Peace ‘returns’ to South Sudan

Numerous news events have shaped the past week and the start of the new month with the probe to unearth the rot at Bank of Uganda (BoU), closure of commercial banks take centre stage.

The BoU, Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and his deputy Dr Louis Kasekende early this week faced the wrath as lawmakers on the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) investigated irregularities in the closure of the said banks.

The duo, accompanied by a team of top management from the Central Bank and the MP’s inquiry focuses on the mismanagement of closed banks and dealings with external lawyers as unearthed by the Auditor General in his special audit report to Parliament.

Mr Mutebile and Mr Kasekende answered the queries raised by the Auditor General, Mr John Muwanga, as new evidence indicates that BoU officials wrote off Crane Bank Ltd loans amounting to Shs600b through unclear circumstances.

COSASE late this week dismissed the notion that its probe into Bank of Uganda’s (BoU) closure of seven commercial banks is coined around the defunct Crane Bank.

A team from Bank of Uganda led by Governor Emmanuel Mutebile and his deputy, Louis Kasekende on Thursday, November 1 appeared before COSASE to explain the alleged anomalies in the sale and closure of Crane Bank and six other commercial banks (PML Daily PHOTO)

In 2016, the central bank took over management of Crane Bank Limited over significant under capitaliSation of the institution and possession of a risk to the stability of the financial sector.

In the subsequent year after the takeover, BoU citing continued insolvency transferred Crane Bank to dfcu Bank.

But according to the committee chairperson Abdul Katuntu (Bugweri County), the probe that kicked off Wednesday is also about six other commercial banks that have been taken over since 1993.

The banks include Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012) and Global Trust Bank (2014).

Parliament last year tasked Muwanga to carry out a special audit following a whistleblower that claimed irregularities during the closures but in their submitted responses, the central bank denies any wrongdoing.

During the interface, Katuntu said that although the BoU officials have filed their responses, they sound more like a monologue unless backed with documentary evidence to back up the claims.

On his part, Kasekende warned that not all documents will be furnished to the committee because some such as the loans schedule are subject to confidentiality clauses provided for in the country’s legal framework.

Mutebile has asked the committee up to close of business on Monday to avail the needed documents, but the lawmakers will not convene until Friday after reading and internalising the documents.

In the same week, former police Chief Gen. Kale Kayihura’s lawyers put the Vision Group on notice over “defamatory stories” linking him to the death of his former ally AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Kayihura wants New Vision to immediately cease publication of Kaweesi murder series, issue an apology and pay him at least 300M for each story or they face legal action.

Gen Kayihura, in a November 2 letter through his lawyers, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), he claims all the published stories by the same paper are aimed at tarnishing his name and that he has taken note of deliberate and sustained campaign that is “riddled with publishing false, malicious and defamatory articles” against him.

Kayihura’s legal notice to New Vision came hours after another local daily; the Daily Monitor reported that Kayihura could be exonerated of all the charges including arming criminal gangs in the city.

Letter of Intention to Sue By Gen. Kale Kayihura

Other charges against Kayihura include failure to supervise and ensure accountability for the arms and ammunition issued to specialized units under his office as the IGP, including the Flying Squad, Special Operations Unit, witness protection unit and the Crime Intelligence Directorate of the police force.

Although, the army leadership is yet to confirm the reports carried by Daily Monitor. However, could the reports be true, New Vision will be in a difficult position given the looming legal actions.

New Vision in a number of stories claims Kayihura is guilty of a number of heinous crimes including the brutal murder of former Police spokesperson AIGP Felix Kaweesi in March last year.

 

Former Senior manager in charge of public access at MTN Uganda, Richard Mwami, has slapped former employer with a lawsuit seeking 2.8bn in damages and deformation (FILE PHOTO)

Still on legal battles, Telecom giant, MTN Uganda, is headed for yet another bigger trouble as its former senior manager in charge of public access Richard Mwami dragged them to court over ‘malicious prosecution’.

 

Mr. Mwami, who was in 2013, prosecuted by the company at the anti-corruption court on key among others charges corruption, neglect of duty, conspiracy to defraud MTN of Shs8 billion mobile money wants the Telecom together with government to pay him damages amounting to Shs2.8 billion.

Just like many other legal battles where MTN Uganda has lost to a number of its former staff, Justice Lawrence Gidudu, in 2015, dismissed the charges against Mwami saying all charges were brought in bad faith.

Now Mwami claims that he received negative press coverage in several newspapers and online news sites for having defrauded MTN, a prosecution that damaged his reputation and continued to cause him to suffer stigma over negative press exposure.

He also alleges that all charges levelled against him that also included embezzling company funds were in bad faith and therefore MTN Uganda and government should pay him over malice.

Also, Makerere University researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi was this week arrested on allegations that she abused President Yoweri Museveni and his deceased mother.

The Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters Kibuli arrested Dr Nyanzi on Friday to Special Investigations Division headquarters at Kireka where she still detained by press time.

She was holding a silent strike at Makerere after the university management failed to restore to her office despite the court ruling.

Dr Stella Nyanzi summoned for insulting members of the first family including First Lady Janet Museveni (FILE PHOTO)

The CID spokesperson, Superintendent of Police Vincent Ssekatte confirmed the arrest of Dr Nyanzi.

“We have her and detectives are yet to interrogate her,” SP Ssekatte said.

It is alleged that Dr Nyanzi abused President Museveni and his deceased mother on September 16 on her Facebook page.

SP Ssekatte says she committed the offence of cyber harassment and offensive communication.

Leaving the controversial don alone, Police in Kampala on Sunday morning confirmed arresting another key suspect in connection to the murder of Arch Rwego, a businessman murdered recently in front of his family in Wakiso district

The suspect whose identities were withheld by police was picked up from Kamwokya on Thursday following a confession by one of the suspects picked up earlier.

The arrest of the suspect brings to four the number of suspects in police custody in connection to gruesome murder. Police had earlier arrested three other suspects with the help of sniff dogs.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Oweyesigyire. (FILE PHOTO)

The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the arrest of the fourth and major suspect.
“We have another suspect in our custody. We are soon taking them to court,” Owoyesgyire confirmed.

In the neighboring South Sudan, the two rival wings agreed to work together for the sake of peace in the war-ravaged country.

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has, on Wednesday Morning October 31 returned to Juba for the first time since (FILE PHOTO)

The agreement also saw rebel leader Riek Machar return to Juba more than two years after he fled the youngest country in the world following the collapse of a 2016 peace deal.

Dr Machar, the former vice president, fled to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 after fierce fighting broke out in Juba, killing hundreds of people while others crossed to borders as refugees.

Museveni together with President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crime against humanity and war crimes, guaranteed the peace deal.

The president said war should never be used again to solve political arguments between brothers and sisters, saying war is wasteful and this was an unnecessary conflict adding that political arguments can be solved through discussions or free and fair elections.

Kembabazi Catering proprietor, Eleanor Byarugaba Kembabazi (FILE PHOTO)

However, the week ended to a sad note as, Ms Eleneor Kembabazi of Kembabazi catering service owner died at Entebbe Airport as she returned home from specialised treatment in India.

According to a family member, Julius Muchunguzi, Kembabazi fought all the odds and build Kembabazi Catering Centre from a humble eating place to a brand name that moved ahead of her.

Kembabazi has been battling with Colon cancer.

Ms Kembabazi has been popular since 1983 for her Kembabazi Catering Centre Limited located in Naguru Kampala.

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