Posts tagged as: report

Kenya: Obama’s Power Africa Initiative Falling Short of Goal

Photo: Pete Souza/ The White House

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya (file photo).

By Kevin J. Kelley

New York — A new report on Barack Obama’s main legacy project for Africa shows it is falling short of his original goal of bringing electricity to 20 million households in Kenya, Tanzania and four other countries by 2018.

Mr Obama’s Power Africa initiative, announced in 2013, has so far helped connect only about half the projected number of households, according to the programme’s 2017 annual report published on Monday.

“To date Power Africa has supported private-sector companies and utilities in connecting a total of 10.6 million homes and businesses to power solutions — that is approximately 53 million people who have gained access to electricity since 2013,” the report states.

SOLAR LANTERNS

But about two-thirds of those new connections take the form of solar lanterns, which power a single light and enable mobile-phone charging, the annual report notes.

Power Africa touts the lanterns as “a critical first step [that] results in dramatic livelihood improvements” for households in remote and impoverished areas.

Larger systems are required in order to provide Africans with power to run appliances and create businesses, the report acknowledges.

2 MILLION HOMES

It says the US initiative has so far helped connect more than two million homes and businesses to such sources.

The annual report cites additional progress toward Power Africa’s revised and expanded goal of supporting the installation in several countries of 30,000 megawatts of generation capacity and 60 million new electricity connections by 2030.

Hitting those targets will depend, however, on President Donald Trump’s attitude toward a programme launched by his predecessor, many of whose initiatives Mr Trump has sought to derail.

TRUMP MUM

The Republican president has said nothing about Power Africa during his seven months in office.

The report points specifically to numerous private-sector power transactions in East Africa for which Mr Obama’s signature sub-Saharan undertaking has helped arrange financing.

In Kenya, Power Africa has played a role in projects that are expected to generate 537 megawatts, the report says, citing the Garden City Mall solar system, KenGen Olkaria V and two other installations.

Nearly 670 megawatts are being added in Tanzania through Power Africa’s involvement in projects such as the Kinyezeri natural gas power plants.

UGANDA

Uganda stands to gain 105 megawatts through Power Africa’s role in several projects, including hydro-electric plants.

Irene Muloni, Uganda’s minister for Energy and Mineral Development, writes in the annual report that her country hopes to add 1000 megawatts in the next three years through its partnership with Power Africa and public and private entities taking part in the initiative.

Minister Muloni also calls attention to the Power Africa’s emphasis on enabling women to get “innovative deals across the finish line.”

RWANDA

In Rwanda, the report notes, 96 megawatts are being added through hydro and solar projects that Power Africa is leveraging.

East Africa has enormous geothermal resources, the report adds, with Power Africa supporting more than 20 projects intended to tap this form of energy.

Kenya is the site of 15 of those projects with a combined geothermal value estimated at $3.6 billion, Power Africa says.

The report highlights the work of Wangeci Wanyahoro, a Power Africa transaction advisor who, it says, is aiming to “position Kenya as a leader in the African renewable-energy market.”

Ms Wanyahoro describes the Kenya’s energy sector and market as “dynamic, intricate and challenging.”

Coffee Export in 2016/17 Fiscal Year Rake in Rwf50 Billion

Rwanda’s coffee export revenues and volumes recorded during the last financial year fell below projections by the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB), the body’s annual report indicates.

The country realised $58.5 million (Rwf49.7 billion) from coffee exports during the last financial year (July 2016 to June 2017), below $60.7 million (Rwf51.6) billion) registered during the previous fiscal year, indicating 3.61 per cent a drop in earnings, the report shows. This was also lower than $67.8 million (Rwf57.6 billion) the agro-exports body had projected to earn from the beans during the reporting period.

The drop was despite a relatively better price on the global market, averaging $3.16 (Rwf2,686) per kilogramme compared to $3.10 (Rwf2,635) per kilogramme the year before.

NAEB attributed drop in coffee export receipts to the low coffee volumes sold in the period under review. The country exported 18,502,442 kilogrammes of coffee against 19,560,636 kilos sold in 2015/16 fiscal year (FY). This was a decrease of 5.41 per cent year-on-year.

Presently, over 400,000 small households depend on the crop for their livelihoods, growing mainly Arabica coffee. The crop is one of the top traditional foreign exchange earners for the country.

According to the report, green coffee produced from July 2016 to June 2017 amounted to 18,439,111 kilogrammes, which shows a decrease of 1,590,215 kilogrammes or 7.94 per cent below 20,029,326 kilogrammes produced the previous year (July 2015 to June 2016). “This situation can be attributed to severe dry season registered from July to August and December 2016,” the agro-exports body said in the report.

Production per type

Of the coffee beans exported during the last financial year, 9,638,547 kilogrammes were of fully-washed coffee, representing 52.27 per cent of the total production, semi washed accounted for 6,211,296 kilogrammes (33.69 per cent), triage was 2,432,645 kilogrammes (13.19 per cent), Robusta added 154,170 kilogrammes (0.84 per cent), while roasted coffee contributed a mere 0.01 per cent or 2,456 kilogrammes, according to the annual report.

Half year performance

Meanwhile, revenues realised from January to June 2017 amounted to $15.86 million, an increase by $35,937 compared to $15.82 million recorded in the same period by a margin, which is an increase of 0.23 per cent.

The good performance in the first six months of the year was due to good prices that averaged $2.66 per kilogramme compared to $2.60 per kilo in 2016, according to the report.

Coffee production over the period, however, dropped by 716,933 kilogrammes or 12.09 per cent to 5,211,182 kilogrammes from 5,928,015 kilogrammes in 2016.

On monthly, total production of green coffee was 1,491,500 kilogrammes in June, higher than 1,285,512 kilogrammes in the same period last year, indicating an increase of 205,988 kilogrammes or 16.02 per cent.

South Africa: ‘We Were Massacred for Radical Economic Emancipation By the State’ – Marikana Miners

A sea of green Amcu supporters have gathered to honour their fallen colleagues ahead of the fifth anniversary of the tragic Marikana shootings in Wonderkop, North West on Wednesday morning.

Some locals have put up small stalls selling fruits, beer, cooldrinks and food while a small group of people carrying knobkieries and placards which read: “Remembrance of our heroes” are marching around the koppie.

The knobkieries are symbolic of 16 August 2012 when 34 mineworkers were shot dead by police during the protest for better wages.

Most of the miners were shot in the back.

The illegal strike began on August 12 and in the days leading to August 16, 10 people had already been killed. By the end of the strike, the death toll had risen to 44 people.

At the same koppie which had become a symbol of defiance for the striking workers, five years later some people sat on the vast rock waiting for proceedings to start.

Amcu – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union – have erected banners with the image of Mgcineni Noki aka “The Man in the Green Blanket” were placed all over the stage built for the memorial.

Noki was one of the leaders of the striking workers. He was among the first to be killed.

A huge banner erected at the back of the stage read: “We were massacred for radical economic emancipation by the state.”

Several politicians are expected to address the masses on Wednesday.

Source: News24

South Africa

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Zambia: Freight Traffic to Hit 12 Million Tonnes

By Cassey Kayula

The Zambian freight traffic market share is projected to grow to 12 million tonnes per year by 2018 from 10 million tonnes in 2014.

This is according to the Zambian National Transportation Master Plan final report which indicated that Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL’s)forecast was to begin to move five million tonnes per year from 2018.

“This is quite an ambitious plan, which implies reaching about 42 per cent market share of freight traffic,” the report indicated.

According to the report, ZRL strategic plan estimated that in order to attain the projected profit levels, it needed an investment of US$ 379 million.

“These funds are expected to be sourced with the help of Government and other cooperating partners, through public private partnerships (PPP),” the report stated.

The report indicated that the capital needed was mainly in rolling stock where ZRL intended to procure 2,600 wagons and new GT locomotives.

It stated that operations would be boosted with the latest technology in rail transport and also lead to a safer railway network.

“The most important issue facing the railway sector is its lacking ability to compete with road transport, this is as a result of low quality of service which is directly affected maintenance.

“Up to 2017 the annual maintenance budget for ZRL is only US$ 5 million which is not enough to provide acceptable level of service,” the report stated.

The report states that international best practice recommended a conservative maintenance rate of two per cent of the total value of infrastructure per year.

“The consultant estimated that the total value of ZRL mainline at approximately US$ 2 billion, meaning that the annual maintenance budget should be US$ 40 million,” it stated.

Zambia

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Nigeria: How Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Govts Allegedly Squandered N11 Trillion Electricity Fund – Serap

A new report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has revealed how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply was allegedly squandered under the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the report, “The total estimated financial loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector starting from the return to democracy in 1999 to date is over Eleven Trillion Naira (N11 Trillion Naira). This represents public funds, private equity and social investment (or divestments) in the power sector. It is estimated that may reach over Twenty Trillion Naira (N20 Trillion Naira) in the next decade given the rate of Government investment and funding in the power sector amidst dwindling fortune and recurrent revenue shortfalls.”

The 65 pages report launched on Wednesday at the Westown Hotels, Lagos is titled: From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are Paying the Price for Corruption in the Electricity Sector.

The report, presented to the media by Yemi Oke, Ass. Professor, Energy/Electricity Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, discloses that “the country has lost more megawatts in the post-privatisation era due to corruption, impunity, among other social challenges reflected in the report.”

The report shows that, “The much-publicised power sector reforms in Nigeria under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 is yet to yield desired and/or anticipated fruits largely due to corruption and impunity of perpetrators, regulatory lapses and policy inconsistencies. Ordinary Nigerians continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector-staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”

A senior lawyer, Femi Falana, who chaired the report launch said that, “This report is a must read, and I promise to lead in the follow-up litigation efforts to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the report.”

The report launch was also attended by Babatunde Irukera, the Director General/Chief Executive of the Consumer Protection Council, CPC; and, Ibrahim Magu Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; who was represented by Osita Nwajah, Director Public Affairs EFCC. Both promised to work to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.

Others at the events were Babatunde Ogala; Dayo Olaide, Deputy Director Macarthur Foundation; Eva Kouka, Program Officer, Ford Foundation; Motunrayo Alaka, Coordinator Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism; representatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the National Human Rights Commission, and the media.

The report accuses Ransom Owan-led board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) of allegedly “settling officials with millions of Naira as severance packages and for embarrassing them with alleged Three Billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00) Fraud. The authorities must undertake a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation as to the reasons why corruption charges were withdrawn, and to recover any corrupt funds.”

The report also called for the reopening and effective prosecution of corruption allegations, including the alleged “looting of the benefits of families of the deceased employees of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) levelled against a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali.”

The report reads: “The Obasanjo’s administration spent $10 billion on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation. $13.278,937,409.94 was expended on the power sector in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12 billion.”

“The Federal Government then budgeted a whopping N16 billion for the various reforms under Liyel Imoke (2003 to 2007) which went down the drains as it failed to generate the needed amount of electricity or meet the set goals. Imoke was alleged to have personally collected the sum of $7.8 million for the execution of the contract for the construction of the Jos-Yola Transmission Line, which was never executed. There were documented/reported allegations of corruption against Imoke that fizzled-out shortly thereafter.”

“Professor Chinedu Nebo handed over the assets of the PHCN to private investors on November 1, 2013. Prof. Nebo is alleged to have corruptly funded the privatized power sector with over N200 Billion despite privatization. The allegation of N200 Billion funding of the privatised power sector during Prof Nebo’s tenure should be thoroughly and transparently investigated and anyone suspected to be responsible prosecuted. Any corrupt funds should be fully recovered.”

“Our research revealed that the sum of N1.5 billion with which the vehicles were acquired was allegedly sourced from the diverted N27 billion insurance premium of deceased workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).”

“The National Assembly and members should desist from and avoid manipulating the award of electricity contracts or cite projects in their constituencies under the guise of “Constituency Project”. The National Assembly should publish and ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of all power-related investigations to date.”

“The Federal Government should back-down from Rural Electrification initiatives and allow states to undertake rural electrification through their respective Local Governments and Development Areas. Federal Government should consider fully divesting its stakes in the power sector and allow for efficient, decentralized sector governance by Federal and State governments, as appropriate, in line with the provisions of the Second Schedule, paragraph 13 and 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

“The 36 state governments should wake up to their rights, duties and obligations under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria relating to the power sector by working to promote and ensure access to regular and uninterrupted electricity supply for all residents within their states. The 36 state governments have been abdicating the duties to the power sector, bearing in mind that Power is an item on the Concurrent Legislative List under the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended).”

“When the late Bola Ige took up the mantle of the Power and Steel Ministry in 1999, he probably didn’t understand the magnitude of problems in the power sector and consequently, promised that within six months of his appointment, “power failure will be a thing of the past” and that on a regular basis, he will brief the nation on the state of power, steel and aluminum. Current minister Babatunde Fashola SAN also claimed that ‘a serious Government will fix the power problem in six months'”

“The power sector under Ige was characterised by epileptic and unreliable supply, bogus billing and archaic rate collection. The late minister failed and was unable to put an end to these. His failure was attributed to acts of sabotage and corruption by people who were benefitting from the use of generators. The late Bola Ige was not accused of corruption.”

“When Rilwan Lanre Babalola (2008 to 2010) took over the affairs in the Ministry of Power, he met 3,700MW on ground and promised to increase it to 6,000MW and ensure a 24-hour power supply by the end of 2009. Six months after assuring Nigerians of making a significant impact in the sector, in September 2009, the 3,700MW capacity he met on ground dropped to 2,710MW which shortfall was attributed to inadequate supply of gas to the new generators.”

“The duo, Elumelu and Ugbane allegedly colluded in misappropriating over N10 billion public funds from the account of Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The research also established, based on evaluation and analyzing documents, a prima-facie case of misappropriation of unspent funds at the end of the year instead of returning same to the treasury. Alleged misappropriation of N500million to buy houses; diversion of REA’s funds; flouting of government’s rules on award of contracts and award of fictitious and unnecessary contracts without following due process.”

“The government of Nigeria handed over the transmission company to a Canadian company Manitoba, to manage and under a management service contract of over $200 million. Findings also show that the Transmission Company of Nigeria could not execute most of its approved 44 projects after having 50 percent of its N30 billion 2016 budget released to it. Funds were released from Eurobond. $23.6 million allegedly paid to Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) of Canada to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would appear to be without due process.”

“The privatization of PHCN would appear to have yielded the country total darkness. Gains of privatization were lost through alleged corruption, manipulation of rules and disregard to extant laws and lack of transparency in the exercise. The PBE encouraged the deferment of payment and restructuring of payment terms in contravention of bidding rules to the disadvantage of other bidders.”

“Billing methodology shrouded in secrecy. Billings do not reflect actual electricity consumptions in most cases. Most if not all, officials of the DISCOs are still very corrupt and demand gratification from customers before doing the job they are paid to do. Grand corruption against the Federal Government owner of the 40% stakes in the DISCOS, and by implications, the Nigerian masses due to non-remittance or under-remittances of the monies collected by the DISCOs.”

“The Manitoba deal is shrouded in secrecy as essential details of the deal remain unknown to Nigerians till date. The authorities should undertake a public-oriented audit on the state of affairs of the TCN two years before and after the Manitoba deal. The outcome of the audit should form basis for further action and charges in court against the suspected perpetrators and corrupt funds fully recovered.”

“The Federal Government should undertake a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the power sector privatization with a view to doing things the right, fair and just way. Ownership of public stakes of 40% in those entities should be revisited and further privatized to avoid using government/public resources to subsidize private entities.”

“Attention should be focused also on petty corruption. Petty corruption in the electricity sector has not received much attention, as the focus has been on grand corruption in the sector.”

“The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN should request the report of the House of Representative Committee that probed government spending in the power sector from 2000 to 2007, and the Elumelu House Probe Committee which had accused 21 persons and 36 companies of subversion of government policy on due process make the report public and ensure appropriate legal action against anyone suspected to be involved in corruption as well as full recovery of corrupt funds.”

“Undocumented, monumental fraud and corruption is said to be perpetrated at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and investigation by the EFCC and ICPC will ensure that those involved are effectively brought to justice.”

“Mr. Malami should direct the EFCC and ICPC to probe metering and billing fraud and corruption and bribery among Discos. Most consumers are unhappy will their billing methodology and feel short-changed by the operators. Mr. Malami should promptly make progress on all outstanding cases of corruption in the electricity sector including by ensuring effective prosecution of all power sector cases being handled by the Ministry.”

“The ICPC should make public the status of the investigation and recommendations for prosecution (if any) on the AEDC Recruitment Scandal/Jumbo Pay Scandal given the facts that the Nigerian Government and public have 40% stakes in the AEDC. The Manitoba deal is shrouded in secrecy as essential details of the deal remain unknown to Nigerians till date. The EFCC/ICPC should lead a public-oriented audit on the state of affairs of the TCN two years before and after the Manitoba deal.”

“The ICPC show tell Nigerians about the current status of the probe of the recruitment scandal and corruption-induced jumbo pay to workers of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC Plc). Anyone found to be responsible should be brought to justice and corrupt funds fully recovered.”

Rwanda Among Safest Countries Globally – New Gallup Report

By Collins Mwai

Rwanda continues to feature as one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new Gallup Global Law and Order report.

The report has ranked Rwanda 11th globally and 2nd in Africa with over 87 per cent of citizens saying that they feel safe and confident in the security organs.

Singapore was ranked top in the report followed by Uzbekistan and Iceland at 97 per cent and 95 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively, with Venezuela coming last at 42 per cent.

Algeria is the only African country that came ahead of Rwanda, at 90 per cent.

The Gallup Law and Order Index measures people’s sense of personal security as well as their experiences with law enforcement. The report is based on interviews with adults in 141 countries in 2016.

In Rwanda, the report’s authors sampled and interviewed over 1000 respondents to get their take on how safe they felt and their confidence in local security structures.

Among the questions posed to respondents include: “In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force? Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?

“Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member? Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?”

‘Index crucial’

The report’s authors said the index is crucial for governments and leaders as there is often a strong co-relation between security and economic and social development.

Local security stakeholders say that the confidence in the security systems and the level of security has been achieved through cooperation with citizens as well as among security organs in the country.

Speaking to The New Times, Police Spokesperson Theos Badege said the development has been achieved through cooperation with citizens.

“Security had been citizen-centred and driven whereby the community is part of the solution. We have initiatives such as Community Policing, among others. We build capacity among community members and we have created a bond with them making them part solutions to security,” he said.

Badege also noted the role of continuous professionalisation of the police force which has created public trust in the Force.

“The leadership of Rwanda has prioritised security as one of the top deliverables,” Badege added.

Experts say the favourable ranking is crucial as the country seeks to establish itself as a top tourist destination as well as a business hub in the region.

They note that by guaranteeing security at a time when many countries face security concerns, Rwanda stands a high chance of attracting more investments and tourists.

Commenting on the report, Rwanda Governance Board deputy chief executive Usta Kayitesi said the ranking reflects the milestones the country has made toward ensuring the safety of citizens.

“With Rwandans having seen the real insecurity to the extent of genocide, safety of citizens ensures that they can feel free to develop their country and invest in it,” she said.

Kayitesi added that the perception by the citizens debunks allegations of “climate of fear” in the country as had been expressed by some international media outlets.

Security ensures that citizens can go about exercising their democratic rights such as participating in elections without fear, she noted.

Rwanda

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Tanzania Human Rights Worsen, Says LHRC Report

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — The human rights situation in Tanzania Mainland has worsened for a period of January to June, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, a new report released by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) shows.

The Bi-Annual Human Rights Report 2017, covering the first half of the year, cites violations of civil and political rights, particularly the right to life, restrictions on and threats to freedom of expression as among the factors that led to the deterioration of human rights.

Other factors are limitation on the freedom to assembly and increased violence against children.

However, the report shows that there has been slight improvement on the right to education, which was significantly boosted by the introduction of free basic education and the right to life for people with albinism.

Launching the report yesterday, the LHRC executive director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, said during the period under review, there were arbitrary arrests and detention of opposition politicians and activists by the police following directives from regional and district commissioners.

“It is this period, when Cloud Media was invaded by the regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam and former information minister Nape Nnauye was denied the right to address the press and a Kiswahili weekly tabloid, Mawio, was slapped with a ban, thus denying citizens the right to information,” she said.

Dr Bisimba added: “Kawe MP Halima Mdee, Ubungo mayor Boniface Jacob and journalists in Arusha were also arrested and detained and some of them being prosecuted following the arbitrary directives of the regional and district commissioners. Such incidents put our democracy at the crossroads,” she added.

She noted that the LHRC had recommended government officials to refrain from interfering with freedom of expression without reasonable grounds as stipulated by law and stop threatening journalists. According to her, the government should also stop suppressing the opposition through denial of political assembly and that government officials and members of political parties should exercise political tolerance to preserve the country’s peace and security.

She said violence against women and children soared to 2,059 rape incidents from January to March, equivalent to 686 per month.

“Iringa, Dar es Salaam and Mbeya are leading regions in sexual violence against children,” she pointed out.

Dr Bisimba explained that the LHRC had recommended that the government should declare a state of moratorium, improve death row conditions and prepare for the abolition of death penalty.

The police also should promptly respond to mob violence and witchcraft-related killings and bring perpetrators to justice.

“Law enforcers implicated in extra-judicial killings should be held accountable, the Media Services Act and the Cybercrimes Act should be amended to uphold freedom of expression and the right of expression,” she said.

She pointed out that teenage mothers should also be allowed back to school after delivery as the re-entry policy is finalised and adopted, adding that Bills to amend the Law of Marriage Act, 1971 should drop all sections allowing child marriage and the anti-gender based violence (GBV) law should be prepared and tabled in Parliament.

Presenting key findings, LHRC researcher Fundikira Wazambi said a spate of killings in Coast Region targeting local government leaders and police officers posed a great threat to peace and security in the country.

Uganda: Crane Bank Wasted Billions in Dubious Software Deals

Photo: The Monitor

Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile

By Alon Mwesigwa

The forensic preliminary report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) into the mismanagement of Crane bank shows payments were made for software that was never supplied and sometimes money paid in billions would be withdrawn on the same day, writes ALON MWESIGWA.

Crane Bank Limited bosses procured and paid for information technology (IT) services and software systems that were non-existent, defrauding the company of billions of shillings, the PWC report shows.

The report findings show the depth to which fraud that finally led to the collapse of the country’s fourth largest bank had reached. Bank of Uganda has sued Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments, a company owned by Ruparelia, seeking to recover up to Shs 400bn and land titles said to have been fraudulently stolen from the bank.

The report, dated December 2016, found that Crane bank spent Shs 25.6bn from 2003 to 2015 on its core banking systems (CBS). However, whereas Temenos Africa (PTY) Limited and Misys International Banking Systems supplied respective software, investigators discovered that $8.2m (Shs 20.6bn) of the Shs 25.6bn was paid to another company, Technology Associates (TA), which did not deliver.

While it was not illegal for Crane bank to enter into contract with other companies that were related to Ruparelia, it was illegal if there was a lack of arms-length transactions and business decisions undertaken outside proper management, due diligence and board approval.

Using IT services is a common form in which companies fraudulently make money. This is because it is very difficult for regulators to prove whether IT services were delivered or not. And it is also hard to put a value to IT services.

With a case against Ruparelia now before court, lawyers simply have to prove to the judge the fraudulent nature of some of these transactions and the linkage they have with the businessman.

SOFTWARE USED

Crane bank was using a software called Micro Banker until it migrated to Bank Master in 2006. It then transitioned to T24 in 2015. Former CBL IT senior manager Zaki Syed told investigators that Bank Master consists of a CBS hosted at the head office and a branch user interface known as Branch Power, hosted at the branches.

Misys was the vendor and was paid for the licenses, installation and the annual maintenance fee for Bank Master. But the forensic probe found that TA, which was not a vendor, was also paid.

TA, whose chairman is Girisch Nair, was paid an initial fee of Shs 682.5m on July 10, 2003. It was paid another Shs 331.5m on December 17, 2003 for Bank Master and Branch Power licenses Then in 2005 and 2006, two payments – Shs 42.9m and Shs 15.5m – were made directly to Misys.

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Uganda’s dfcu Dumps Former Crane Bank Staff

dfcu Fires Former Crane Bank Staff

“Bank Master license fees as well as annual maintenance fees appear to be paid directly to Misys, the vendor,” said the report.”It is, therefore, unclear why TA was paid licenses fees as well.” From the above, the report added, that TA was paid Shs 1bn while Misys Shs 58.5m for what appears to be the same licenses.”It is not immediately clear why the amount charged by TA should be significantly higher at 17 times the amount paid to Misys,” the investigators wondered.They also found that the payments to TA in 2003 for the Bank Master license were three years prior to the installation of Bank Master in Crane bank.In 2013, another payment totaling $1.7bn (Shs 4.4bn) for licenses was paid to TA for the extension of the existing Bank Master licenses. It was approved by A. R Kalan, the then managing director, and another official called Ajay Kumar, who was the deputy managing director, into TA’s Crane bank account.A review of the $1.7m payment indicates that the funds were paid into the TA Crane bank account number 0245030909000. The money was drawn down on the same day via a transfer of $245,000 to Misys and a cash withdrawal of $1,455,000 via counter cheque number 00572525 by Suneet Sahai, the then managing director of TA.”An analysis of the payments from the TA CBL account could suggest that the amount payable to Misys for the extension of the licence is likely to be only $245, 000,” said the report.A review of the minutes of the meeting of board of directors held on September 4, 2013 reveals that Kalan informed the board that an extension of the existing Bank Master license had been obtained as the license had expired on May 31, 2013.This was aimed at buying CBL time as they decided on the upgrading of the existing CBS or migration to new software. CBL had paid TA and Misys for Bank Master licenses in the past. Documentation from TA indicates that only $37,333 was payable to Misys as annual maintenance costs.The report shows the board never authorized the payments and was only informed three months after the payments. And even then, without sufficient details to show the significant amount paid.The report said: “The Shs 4.4bn payment is likely to be exorbitant as this is approximately four times the initial cost paid for the purchase of the same licenses and only 14 per cent of the amount paid was subsequently forwarded to the vendors of the system.”When PWC asked TA chairman Girisch Nair about the payments, he denied any knowledge of this license payment to TA. He told PWC officials that he had a dispute in 2013/2014 between him and the then MD of TA. He said he was kept out of many affairs of the company.He, however, indicated that he should have been aware if the payment was done as he was a signatory in all the accounts”. Investigators concluded that the Shs 4.4bn payment to TA with respect to the Bank Master CBS license is likely to be irregular.MORE PAYMENTSOn February 6, 2013, Crane bank paid TA an amount of $930,000 purportedly for the supply of HP Advanced Management software. The payment voucher, number 12728, made the payment out to TA via cheque number 2758.This was approved by Kalan, Ajay Kumar, who was the deputy MD from 2006 to 2013, and Ajay Valentina, who was Sudhir’s personal assistant. A second payment of $700,000 was made on September 19, 2013 to TA for Electra Monitor and Electra Wire middleware upgrades.This was also approved by Kalan, Kumar and Ajay. Even when the payments were made, Samuel Mutunga, the CBL IT manager, told investigators that the HP and Electra software and upgrades were not deployed in the bank.The report does not show the payments went directly to Ruparelia Group chairman Ruparelia, but were approved by Kalan.TA LINKED TO SUDHIRThe investigators also found a link of TA with Ruparelia. It is formally Computer Point and currently works in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and United Arab Emirates.It is registered in Dubai as a Jebel Ali offshore company (Non-resident company) and, as such, the company is protected by laws of confidentiality. Confidential enquiries that PWC staff made revealed that TA was until 2014 associated with Ruparelia.Ruparelia is said to have sold the company to Nair, the report said. A director search undertaken in the UAE by confidential sources does indeed show Ruparelia as a former director of Technology Associates Inspiring Solutions LLC, the report added.”Whereas Nair confirmed that Technology Associates Inspiring Solutions LLC is indeed TA and that he bought it off in 2014, he denied knowledge of its previous association with Dr Sudhir, saying he acquired the shares from a one Sunit Sahai,” PWC found.

Zimbabwe: Security Guards Open Fire On Illegal Diamond Panners

Photo: The Herald

Chiadzwa diamonds (file photo).

By Abel Zhakata

One person was killed, while three others were seriously injured when Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) Private Limited security guards fired at over 200 armed illegal diamond panners who broke into the firm’s premises in Chiadzwa last week.

The panners intended to pounce on the plant’s main diamond sorting room. Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed the incident which occurred on July 18 at around 3am.

“I cannot say much as our officers are still investigating the case,” he said. ZCDC chief executive officer Dr Moris Mpofu said the company’s security department was working with the police over the case.

“The case is under investigation and our security guys are working with the police. There is no security threat at the mine and the situation is under control,” he said.

It is alleged that illegal panners cut the security fence around the Red Zone of Portal A diamond mining area at the plant.

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Gunfire At Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields


Two Illegal Miners Shot at Marange Diamond FieldsOne Dead After Illegal Miners Invade Diamond Mine – Report

They were armed with wrenches and machetes, while singing threatening songs.As the panners marched towards the main sorting room, they were intercepted by security guards who were manning the area.”The security guards ordered them to leave the mining site, but they resisted and threw stones at them. One of the guards fired three warning shots in the air in a bid to disperse the illegal panners but they kept on marching towards the sorting room.””Upon realising that they were now under fierce attack, the eight security guards started firing towards the advancing illegal panners,” said a source.”Three of the panners were shot and injured. The other group members ran away in different directions.”Of those injured, one was shot on the right hip and fell to the ground crying for help. He bled profusely. The security guards had to use a company vehicle to take him to Mutare Provincial Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.”The case which was reported at ZRP Marange has since been referred to CID Mutare’s homicide section.Detectives were still to interview the security guards who were on duty as they were said to be off for two weeks.Police were also still to establish the identity of the deceased.More on ThisOne Dead After Illegal Miners Invade Diamond Mine – Report

One person has died and at least two others have been injured in eastern Zimbabwe after security guards opened fire on a… Read more »

African ‘Beyonce’ Thrills Online Audience – VIDEO

RESOURCE: Audrey Iteriteka Cover of Beyonce’s HaloBy Naira Habib

A video of a girl singing a rendition of American award winning singer Beyonce’s hit, Halo , has wowed the online community.

The clip is taken in what looks like a classroom, where the girl sits on a chair and begins to sing the song from Beyonce’s 2008 album titled I Am Sasha Fierce .

The vocal prowess of the girl has prompted netizens to tag the singer, plus encouraging music producers to invest in her talent.

The video was actually uploaded on YouTube in 2015 and has received more than one million views.

Nairobi News has established that the girl in the video is of Burundi origin and goes by the name Audrey Iteriteka aka Beyonce.

Burundi

Real Political Power to Effect Change Still Belongs to Men – Report

A study on gender equality in East Africa has found that despite being ranked among countries with the highest number of… Read more »

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