Posts tagged as: settlement

Namibia: #Gabis Community Grows Lucerne to Beat Drought

By Luqman Cloete

Nmaibia had in 2013 experienced its worst drought in 30 years, which resulted in massive livestock losses due to a lack of pasture.

That year, a bright idea sprouted in a group of #Gabis settlement farmers near Karasburg to start a community gardening project to grow lucerne to feed their livestock.

Besides lucerne, the group also grows a variety of vegetables like onions, carrots, pumpkins and beetroot on a piece of land allocated to them by the Bondelswarts Traditional Authority. Martin Bezuidenhout (47), one of the founding members of the project, still vividly remembers 2013 as one of the most challenging and toughest years.

“It was one of the most difficult years, but it inspired us to prepare for recurrent droughts to avoid livestock losses during dry seasons,” he stated.

The crop and livestock farmer says he no longer worries about fodder for his animals during the dry season.

The idea to cultivate a variety of vegetables was aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle among the community. The group had also approached the Karasburg East constituency office to request financial assistance.

“At first, they were reluctant to assist us because similar initiatives in the region had previously failed. We had to convince them that we aimed to have a project to sustain the future generation when we are gone,” Bezuidenhout said.

He explained that instead of sitting around waiting for handouts, the group bought seeds from their resources, and started digging a well to source water for their envisaged community garden.

The group eventually persuaded the constituency office to assist them with fencing materials, water storage tanks, a solar pump and with the drilling of a borehole.

“We had even gone to the extent of calling in a nearby commercial farmer who assisted us to construct the beds for lucerne to explain to the government officials the viability of growing lucerne in the area,” he added.

Bezuidenhout thanked constituency councillor Dennis Coetzee and his office staff for the assistance they have given to the group to date to establish the community gardening project.

Indeed, hard work, perseverance and dedication have paid off for the group as the community garden they planted has already yielded a harvest.

“We have already produced a variety of vegetables and lucerne,” a proud Bezuidenhout said, adding that they sold some produce to sustain the project, taking some for their own use, as well as donating fresh vegetables to those in need at the settlement to promote healthy living.

One of the biggest challenges the project faces is the lack of a cultivator, and a lucerne pressing machine.

Currently, the group relies on a home-made cultivator and lucerne pressing machine, which was built by project member Ben Ortman (67) to plough their land for cultivation.

“Hard work, dedication and perseverance are the best medicines to succeed amid tribulations,” said Ortman, adding that the group would appreciate any help to expand their project.

He said although the home-made gardening implements are not perfect, they are performing a similar function as those sold in gardening shops.

“It is a tough job to plough with your own hands, but this will not discourage us,” said another founding member, Moses Swartbooi (77).

Martin Swartbooi (47) is also a member of the group which aims to create self-employment and food security through their dream initiative.

– luqman@namibian.com.na

Municipality Replaces KDA

By Maureen Odunga

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has officially dissolved Kigamboni Development Agency (KDA), ordering the transfer of its operations to the Kigamboni Municipal Council.

The President has as well revoked ownership on the 715-acre NAFCO farm by Dar es Salaam-based business tycoon Yusuph Manji and the 5,400-acre farm under Amadori Company.

The two farms bring to 19 dormant farms and 227 plots that the government has so far repossessed. Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development Minister William Lukuvi disclosed the ownership revocation news in Dar es Salaam yesterday when he met and spoke to Kigamboni residents and leaders.

Mr Lukuvi pointed out that KDA and Kigamboni Municipal Council were performing almost similar duties, leading to unnecessary quarrels, which have prompted the President to disband the agency. He said KDA had the role of overseeing the development of Kigamboni Satellite City, the same responsibility that the municipality possesses.

“From now onwards, all matters related to the development of land and issuance of construction permits, among others, will be handled by the municipality,” he noted. The minister directed KDA officials to prepare and hand over all working documents and responsibilities to Kigamboni Municipal Council within six months, effective yesterday.

“The idea behind President Magufuli’s move is not to create squatters but to empower the authority in Kigamboni to develop their municipality based on their own vision and goals,” stressed the Minister.

He, however, warned against any form of construction on unsurveyed land not only for the residents of Kigamboni but across the country. Regarding the revoked farms, Mr Lukuvi explained that the farms will be under the government watch, warning that strong legal measures will be taken against anyone trespassing in the areas.

“Some individuals have started invading the revoked farms claiming that they have been sold out to them … I just want to assure you that they are government properties and it is strict prohibited and we are going to bring down any type of construction on the land,” said Mr Lukuvi.

He said the ministry plans to carry out a land audit on all extensive dormant land for their prospective new owners to pay land rents. Kigamboni District Commissioner (DC) Hashim Mgandilwa decried some of the challenges facing the municipality, citing double allocation of land, lack of human resources and working tools as well as government’s reluctance to compensate the residents.

Mr Mgandilwa pointed out that a large portion of Kigamboni land was under the control of five individuals, hindering majority of the residents from accessing land on which to carry out development activities like farming.

“The big chunks of land have not been developed, turning into hideouts for criminals and yet majority people are in dire need of land for development activities,” said the DC.

The Kigamboni Member of Parliament (MP) Faustine Ndugulile reminded the municipal executives to administer development on the land as per the master plan. “As the representative of Kigamboni residents, I will not tolerate squatters in my area,” vowed the legislator.

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Uganda: Court Battle Pitting BoU Against Ex-Crane Bank Owner Begins

The hearing of the case pitting Uganda’s banking regulator against real estate mogul and former owner of Crane Bank, Suphir Ruparelia, begun Wednesday at Kampala High Court.

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) accuses the businessman of siphoning $105 million from the collapsed Crane Bank over a 10-year period.

Further, BoU accuses Mr Ruparelia of fraudulently grabbing 48 properties built with Crane Bank money that he later transferred to Meera Investments, his real estate business, before leasing them back to the bank at exorbitant prices. The Central Bank is suing Mr Ruparelia and Meera Investments jointly.

The Central Bank wants Mr Ruparelia to pay back over Ush650 billion ($178.2 million), for the 48 properties, that includes interest in addition to handing over the titles.

BoU took over the management of Crane Bank in September last year, citing that the bank was “grossly undercapitalised and paused a systemic risk to the financial sector.” The Central Bank later sold the lender to DFCU Bank.

In his defence and in a counter suit against BoU, the businessman accuses the Central Bank of failing to properly execute its supervisory functions, which he says led to the collapse of his bank.

He also alleges that BoU wrote him a letter blackmailing him to settle the case out-of-court or face criminal proceedings after they had filed their plaint in June.

The real estate magnate also accuses BoU lawyers –MMAKS and AF Mpaga– of conflict of interest and faults the Central Bank for breach of Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement. He says the two law firms have represented his Meera Investments firm.

The court battles, president over by Justice David Wangutusti, is likely to open a Pandora’s box for the Central Bank.

At least two other suits against BoU have been filed by private citizens over the collapse of Crane Bank.

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Court Battle Pitting BoU Against Ex-Crane Bank Owner Begins

The hearing of the case pitting Uganda’s banking regulator against real estate mogul and former owner of Crane Bank, Suphir Ruparelia, begun Wednesday at Kampala High Court.

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) accuses the businessman of siphoning $105 million from the collapsed Crane Bank over a 10-year period.

Further, BoU accuses Mr Ruparelia of fraudulently grabbing 48 properties built with Crane Bank money that he later transferred to Meera Investments, his real estate business, before leasing them back to the bank at exorbitant prices. The Central Bank is suing Mr Ruparelia and Meera Investments jointly.

The Central Bank wants Mr Ruparelia to pay back over Ush650 billion ($178.2 million), for the 48 properties, that includes interest in addition to handing over the titles.

BoU took over the management of Crane Bank in September last year, citing that the bank was “grossly undercapitalised and paused a systemic risk to the financial sector.” The Central Bank later sold the lender to DFCU Bank.

In his defence and in a counter suit against BoU, the businessman accuses the Central Bank of failing to properly execute its supervisory functions, which he says led to the collapse of his bank.

He also alleges that BoU wrote him a letter blackmailing him to settle the case out-of-court or face criminal proceedings after they had filed their plaint in June.

The real estate magnate also accuses BoU lawyers –MMAKS and AF Mpaga– of conflict of interest and faults the Central Bank for breach of Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement. He says the two law firms have represented his Meera Investments firm.

The court battles, president over by Justice David Wangutusti, is likely to open a Pandora’s box for the Central Bank.

At least two other suits against BoU have been filed by private citizens over the collapse of Crane Bank.

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Uganda: Sudhir, BOU Legal Battle Kicks Off

By Anthony Wesaka

Kampala — The raging high-profile commercial legal battle between property mogul, Sudhir Ruparelia, and Bank of Uganda (BoU), kicks off today in Kampala.

BoU sued Mr Ruparelia and his Meera Investments in July, accusing the tycoon of fleecing the then Crane Bank of Shs397b in disputed transactions, a claim the businessman denies in his countersuit filed in the High Court recently.

In Mr Ruparelia’s countersuit, the businessman accuses BoU lawyers (MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates) of conflict of interest and faults Bank of Uganda for breach of Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement (CSRA).

In the run up to the Crane Bank saga, it emerged that Mr Ruparelia and BoU authorities under Clause 7 of the CSRA had agreed not to sue each other.

Mr Ruparelia now wants a refund of $8m (Shs28.7m) and the titles on land in Industrial Area and Parliament Avenue.

Today, the head of the Commercial Court, Justice David Wangutusi, is set to hear three applications that have since arisen from the original suit lodged by BoU, including a request by BoU lawyers to be allowed to file their response to Ruparelia’s countersuit.

The applications in the BoU case are to be heard today under the pre-trial session arrangement. They include; conflict of interest of BoU lawyers of MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates.

Under this application, Mr Ruparelia says some of the lawyers in the aforementioned law firms such as Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi represented him before and David Mpanga is a potential witness in this case since his law firm participated in the coming up of PWC report that implicated him in the alleged fraud and that because of that, he should instead be a witnesses and not a lawyer on the opposite side.

Although MMARKS at the weekend disowned Mr Ruparelia, the businessman in a September 11 rejoinder attached invoices from Mr Masembe to Meera Investments and receipts from MMARKS for the payment of professional fees and stamp duty.

“Any attempt to use the knowledge they obtained to my prejudice as a result of the instructions they received is manifest breach of MMAKS Advocates’ fiduciary obligations. Mr Sembatya by purporting to reveal the extent of his instructions, moreover falsely, in order to prejudice me and even expand the allegations in the plaint is a clear violation and betrayal of my more than 12-year trust in MMAKS Advocates,” Mr Ruparelia’s rejoinder reads in part.

The BoU lawyers are expected to respond to these documents.

The other application expected to be heard today is that of extension of time as requested by BoU in connection with late response to the counter suit lodged against them by Mr Ruparelia for breach of the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement.

Under this same application, Crane Bank (in receivership) wants to amend its original plaint and make changes with regard to the manner in which Rasiki Kantaria became a shareholder in Crane Bank and also bring an alternative cause of action against the businessman.

The last application is about former shareholders of defunct National Bank of Commerce (NBC), including businessman Amos Nzeyi, who are seeking to be added to the BoU suit against Mr Ruparelia.

In September 2012, BoU took over NBC before selling it to then Crane Bank in which Mr Ruparelia had shares. NBC was co-owned by former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, city businessman Amos Nzeyi, retired Supreme Court judge George Kanyeihamba, among others.

Mr Nzeyi, who sued Mr Ruparelia, contends that him and Mr Kantaria acted dishonestly in authorising the execution of the purchase agreement for NBC assets and did not meet the test of managing, controlling and owning the bank.

On Monday this week, Mr Ruparelia through his lawyers Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) filed his response to oppose Crane Bank (in receivership) to amend its original suit to include an alternative action. The tycoon contends that the amendment is a means to defeat his defence that he has since filed based on clear facts.

“That by reason of the foregoing, I am advised by my lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates, which reason I believe to be true that the proposed amendment prejudices me as it attempts to stop me from raising the point of law I had given notice that I was going to raise,” Mr Ruparelia states in his application to oppose the amendment.

He adds: “That according to Margaret Kasule’s affidavit, the proposed amended plaint is purportedly introduced as an alternative cause of action and in particular to secure the correlative rights of Crane Bank in receivership under the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement.”

The intended amendment, according to Mr Ruparelia, proposes that he received Shs35.8b instead of Shs35.2b from Mr Kantaria.

The businessman also fears that if the original plaint is amended, new issues might be introduced and that he may be ambushed.

Mr Ruparelia further contends that the money under the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement was strict entitlement of BoU only and that Crane Bank in receivership has no right to $52m (about Shs187b) or any sum since the confidential agreement proposed payment of $60m (about Shs215b) to BoU.

KEY ISSUES

Conflict of interest. In Mr Ruparelia’s countersuit, the businessman accuses BoU lawyers (MMAKS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates) of conflict of interest and faults Bank of Uganda for breach of Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement.

Receipts. Although MMARKS at the weekend disowned Mr Ruparelia, the businessman in a September 11 rejoinder to his affidavit, the property mogul attached invoices from Mr Masembe to Meera Investments and receipts from MMARKS for the payment of professional fees and stamp duty.

Extension. The other application expected to be heard today is that of extension of time as requested by BoU in connection with late response to the counter suit lodged against them by Mr Ruparelia for breach of the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement.

Uganda: Sort Out Oil Pipeline Issues, Countries Told

Photo: The Citizen

Uganda-Tanga oil pipeline.

By Louis Kolumbia

Tanzania and Uganda have been urged to solve internal issues for the crude oil pipe-line project from Hoima to the coastal city of Tanga to benefit citizens in both countries. The call was made by stakeholders attending the Tanzania Oil and Gas Congress when deliberating on a project showcase titled: Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline-Progress, Plans and Opportunities.

The congress was told that many internal issues were yet to be deliberated. The Petroleum Authority of Uganda executive director, Mr Ernest Rubondo told the congress that independent teams were already working on the matter in both nations.

“It is high time the two teams met and deliberated on local content issues for the interest of their people. I also call upon stakeholders to work harmoniously to achieve the 2020 time frame by ensuring both the upstream and the downstream start operating,” he said.

The Tanga Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Martin Shigella said the region was doing everything in their capacity to ensure that the citizens were not left behind in the $3.5 billion project, which is projected to cover 1,403 kilometres.

“We have set aside enough land for building apartments in order to comply with new accommodation demands. We’ve also organised a business forum to bring entrepreneurs together to discuss opportunities, challenges and threats facing their endeavours,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement said though land was owned by the state, locals along the pipeline area would compensated to pave the way for the implementation of the project, adding that corruption should be avoided to make the process a success. “The value of land for property development and agriculture has significantly hiked in those areas, which suggests that the citizens stood at a better chance of benefiting when selling or entering joint ventures,” he said.

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Nigeria: Govt, Resident Doctors Agreements

A meeting was held on September 6, 2017, following the strike embarked upon by the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) on September 4, 2017.

The meeting considered the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement dated August 31, 2017 which was signed by the Parties at the end of the conciliation meeting held at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment to address the 6 – point issues of concern to the members of NARD.

In view of the ongoing strike by members of NARD, an emergency meeting was convened by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment to address areas of dissatisfaction in the Settlement by NARD.

The meeting noted NARD’s Position that despite the signed Memorandum of Terms of Settlement, the industrial action by its members emanated from a distrust of Government commitment to execute its own end of the Terms of Settlement.

The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment expressed displeasure that NARD members embarked on strike inspite of the signed collectively agreed Terms of Settlement dated August 31, 2017, and conciliation in progress in line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004. The issues of concern to NARD were therefore re-addressed as follows:

1)Failure To Pay Our Salary Shortfall Of 2016 And January To May 2017

Acknowledging the need for the Resident Doctors to receive their full salaries, the meeting deliberated extensively on the accounting difficulties encountered in the disbursement of salaries to non – regular payrolls labeled ‘Non Regular Allowances’ as against regular payrolls covered by the IPPIS platform.

The meeting further noted that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) did receive one Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) of the sum of N13.2Billion to address the shortfalls in Public Sector including payment of the salaries of affected doctors in Federal Tertiary Health Institutions (FTHI). After due considerations by the meeting especially of the document submitted by NARD on “Salary Shortfall”, it was agreed –

i.That the OAGF has to employ checks and balances in disbursing Government funds. Accordingly, though verifications had been done by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), there was still need to carry out authentications. Payment would therefore be made directly to the affected FTHI for Doctors and Staff that have been authenticated, and additionally, a soft copy would be forwarded to the Parent Ministry (FMoH), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, CMDs, NARD and NMA;

ii.That the FTHIs on list A of the document submitted by NARD that have been authenticated by OAGF were expected to receive payments on or before Friday, September 8, 2017 as OAGF tendered a mandate containing 8 FTHI and pledged to forward an additional list of the remaining FTHI to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for necessary action between September 7 – 8, 2017;

iii. That the 2nd batch (list B) Mandate will be treated as soon as their AIE is sent to OAGF since NARD claimed that PICA had verified the shortfalls.

2)Failure To Rectify The Salary Shortfall From August 2017

The meeting noted and agreed with NARD demand for a 100% payment of salaries to its members. However it was observed that the shortfalls were basically experienced by those not on the IPPIS platform termed “Non Regular Allowances/Payments”.

The challenges on this issue were discussed extensively and it was noted that the OAGF was currently capturing the Paramilitary Staff on IPPIS Platform and would be ready to deal with members of NARD by first week of October precisely October 4, 2017. In this regard, it is expected that the 100% payment will be implemented as from October 2017, as September salaries were already at advanced stage of preparation. However, any shortfall that occurs will be treated together with that of August, 2017.

The role of the Cash Management Department and PICA in the payment of the Non Regular Allowances (Non IPPIS), and the determination to find a permanent solution to the issue of salary shortfalls was acknowledged.

The meeting resolved that the Honourable Ministers of Labour and Employment, and Health together with the Budget Office of the Federation and one member each of NARD and NMA would discuss the matter with the Honourable Ministers of Finance (HMF), and Budget and Planning (HMBNP) as soon as Honourable Minister of Finance returns to the country.

NARD was also assured that notwithstanding IPPIS coming into existence in October, 2017, the arrears accumulated in salary shortfalls on the Non Regular Platform, would be paid based on the old payment regime and liquidated.

3)Failure To Circularize House Officers’ Entry Point

The meeting noted that since the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement of August 31, 2017 was executed, progress had been made by the Government. The FMoH and NSIWC had made a computation of the financial implications for the House Officers’ Pay amounting to approximately N422, 564,729.34. The end of October, 2017, was given as deadline to entirely solve the monetary problem of House Officers entry step by capturing it in the 2018 budget.

The NSIWC promised to forward a memo to the Presidency following the receipt of a letter of demand from the FMoH and would issue the relevant circular immediately a favourable response is received by the NSIWC from the Presidency.

4)Failure To Correct The Stagnation Of Promotion Of Our Members And Properly Place Them On Their Appropriate Grade Level

After extensively discussing the issue by all parties, it was concluded that while the Appeal filed by the FMoH in the Appeal Court against the Judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on skipping is pending; skipping for doctors should however continue as currently applied for other health workers. Hospitals that are yet to implement skipping for doctors are to commence. Also, there should be no “same scale” promotion except at the terminal grade level and in accordance with the Public Service Rules. Payment for skipping shall stop if the Appeal Court invalidates the payments.

5)Failure To Enroll And Capture Our Members On The Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS

On this issue, the meeting concluded that item v of the Memorandum of Settlement dated August 31, 2017 should be adopted and implemented. Item v under reference provides as follows – “Based on the information given by the members of NARD, it was noted that only 18 Federal Tertiary Health Institutions had so far submitted their Nominal Roll.

The meeting concluded that NARD members should be on the IPPIS platform and that the CMDs as well as the MDs should be requested by the FMoH to submit their Nominal Roll to the Office of the Accountant General of The Federation (OAGF) and copy to the FMoH and FML&E on or before September 15, 2017. It was agreed that all Resident Doctors should be captured on IPPIS platform by the end of October 2017.” OAGF confirmed the receipt of submissions from additional 9 FTHIs as at September 6, 2017.

6)Failure To Budget, Deduct And Remit Both The Employer And Employees’ Contributions Our Pension To Our Retirement Savings Account Since 2013

The meeting admitted and considered a letter by the Federal Ministry of Finance Ref. No. OHMF/SPO/NARD/289/VOL.1 dated June 8, 2017 on the subject “Re-Stoppage of Budgetary Provision And Deduction at Source For the Contributory Pension Scheme For Resident Doctors” which reaffirmed the earlier position taken that Resident Doctors are entitled to the Contributory Pension Scheme. After due discussions, item vi of the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement of August 31, 2017 was re-affirmed and adopted for implementation. The item vi states that “… NARD members are on Pensionable appointment and as such the FMoH in conjunction with OAGF and Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) should take necessary steps to ensure that adequate budgetary allocations are made to cover the Pension requirements of NARD members. Furthermore, FMoH should issue a letter in that regard to the Head Civil Service of the Federation who would correspond with the Budget Office of the Federation for necessary action, as the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) had in a letter of February 12, 2015, Ref.PENCOM/INSP/C&E/CCPA/66/15/1167 to the Honourable Minister of Health affirmed that members of NARD are “Employees”. The letter went further to define an employee as any person employed in the service of the Federation, the FCT, a Government of a State of Nigeria, Local Government Council or private company or organization or firm.”

7) The Federal Government will appeal to State Governments and Organisations that owe salary shortfalls/emoluments to Health Workers to make genuine efforts to liquidate these arrears in the spirit of revamping the Health Care System in the country.

8) The meeting agreed that NARD National Officers are to present the outcome of the re-negotiated Memorandum of Terms of Settlement to an emergency meeting of its members by Friday September 8, 2017 with a view to suspending the strike once there is evidence of payment of the Mandate as presented to the meeting, to the affected Institutions.

9) No member of NARD will be victimised as a result of this strike if suspended, after the Emergency Meeting of Friday, September 8, 2017

10) This Conciliation Meeting is adjourned to reconvene on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

Prof. Mike O. Ogirima Dr. Onyebueze John U.

NMA President NARD President

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … ..

Gideon S. Mitu Olufehinti Olusegun

DD (EXP) Social, BOF Ag.D (IPPIS) OAGF

… … … … … … … … … … … … . … … … … … … … … … … .

Prof. Thomas Agan M. K. Usman

Chairman Committee of CMDs & MDs of FHTI D (Inspectorate), OAGF

… … … … … … … … … … … .. … … … … … … … … … .

Dr. R. P. Ugo Didi Walson Jack, mni

Perm. Sec. GSO, OSGF PS (SWO), OHCSF

… … … … … … … … … … … … … …

High Chief R. O. Egbule, Ph.D, MFR

Chairman, NSIWC

… … … … … … … … … … … . … … … … … … … … … … …

Prof. Isaac Adewole Prof. Stephen Ocheni

Hon. Minister of Health Hon. Mins. of State, Labour & Employment

… ….. … … … … … … … … … … … …

Senator (Dr.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON; MD

Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment

BOU Files to Amend Sudhir Suit

By Derrick Kiyonga

Bank of Uganda has filed an amendment to its Commercial court suit accusing businessman Sudhir Ruparelia of stealing over Shs 400bn from his collapsed Crane bank.

In its fresh application filed on September 4, 2017, two months after its main suit, BOU said the amendment is meant to address issues raised by Sudhir in his defence and counterclaim, which dealt extensively with his rights under the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement (CSRA) signed between him and the bank.

Under the agreement, BOU says Sudhir agreed to pay $60m and return 47 freehold/mailo titles for Crane bank’s branches countrywide.

It should be remembered that Sudhir used the CSRA as his first line of defence, contending that the fraud case is dead on arrival because he signed an agreement which, according to him, cushioned him from any central bank civil or criminal lawsuits.

He cited clause 6 of the agreement, which says, “This confidential settlement and release agreement is in full, complete and final settlement of all claims that either party (or related parties or shareholders) may have against the other, and each of Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank Limited hereby fully and finally releases and forever discharges and shall refrain from instituting directing, procuring, instigating or maintaining all or any actions, claims, sanctions (whether administrative, civil or criminal in nature). “

Although BOU admits in its defence against Sudhir’s counterclaim that it dealt extensively with its rights under the CSRA, it says since the businessman has relied much on the agreement, it’s only fair that the bank should also amend its original case to show how Sudhir violated the agreement.

According to BOU, the violation of the agreement would be an alternative to the earlier fraud grounds they set against Sudhir.

“The applicants have accordingly prepared an “amended plaint” to plead the alternative cause of action based on the CSRA, which amended plaint is attached to the affidavit filed in support of this application and it is just and equitable that leave be granted to amend the plaint in the manner set out therein,” the application reads in part.

Meanwhile, the Commercial court has set September 13, 2017 to hear BOU’s application seeking to be allowed to file its defence to Sudhir’s counterclaim in which he wants BOU to pay him $8 million.

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Uganda: BOU Files to Amend Sudhir Suit

By Derrick Kiyonga

Bank of Uganda has filed an amendment to its Commercial court suit accusing businessman Sudhir Ruparelia of stealing over Shs 400bn from his collapsed Crane bank.

In its fresh application filed on September 4, 2017, two months after its main suit, BOU said the amendment is meant to address issues raised by Sudhir in his defence and counterclaim, which dealt extensively with his rights under the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement (CSRA) signed between him and the bank.

Under the agreement, BOU says Sudhir agreed to pay $60m and return 47 freehold/mailo titles for Crane bank’s branches countrywide.

It should be remembered that Sudhir used the CSRA as his first line of defence, contending that the fraud case is dead on arrival because he signed an agreement which, according to him, cushioned him from any central bank civil or criminal lawsuits.

He cited clause 6 of the agreement, which says, “This confidential settlement and release agreement is in full, complete and final settlement of all claims that either party (or related parties or shareholders) may have against the other, and each of Bank of Uganda and Crane Bank Limited hereby fully and finally releases and forever discharges and shall refrain from instituting directing, procuring, instigating or maintaining all or any actions, claims, sanctions (whether administrative, civil or criminal in nature). “

Although BOU admits in its defence against Sudhir’s counterclaim that it dealt extensively with its rights under the CSRA, it says since the businessman has relied much on the agreement, it’s only fair that the bank should also amend its original case to show how Sudhir violated the agreement.

According to BOU, the violation of the agreement would be an alternative to the earlier fraud grounds they set against Sudhir.

“The applicants have accordingly prepared an “amended plaint” to plead the alternative cause of action based on the CSRA, which amended plaint is attached to the affidavit filed in support of this application and it is just and equitable that leave be granted to amend the plaint in the manner set out therein,” the application reads in part.

Meanwhile, the Commercial court has set September 13, 2017 to hear BOU’s application seeking to be allowed to file its defence to Sudhir’s counterclaim in which he wants BOU to pay him $8 million.

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Sudhir Demands Quick Court Win

By Derrick Kiyonga

Nearly 19 days after he counter-sued Bank of Uganda (BOU) for $8 million and got no response, businessman Sudhir Ruparelia yesterday wrote to the Commercial court asking for a quick judgment in his favour.

Sudhir, the owner of the defunct Crane bank, wants court to enter a default judgment because BOU failed to respond to his counter claim within the mandatory 15 days.

A default judgment is a binding judgment in favour of either party based on failure to take action by the other party. Most often, it is a judgment in favour of a plaintiff when the defendant fails to respond to summons to appear before a court of law.

When he filed his defence on August 3, 2017 against a BOU suit accusing him of stealing over Shs 400 billion from Crane bank, Sudhir also filed a counter claim against the central bank.

In the counter claim, Sudhir wants BOU to pay him $8m for breach of clause 12 of their Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement (CSRA).

The clause stipulates that, “Without prejudice to the immediate forgoing should any legal or administrative proceeding of any kind ensue against SR [Sudhir Ruparelia] as defined in the agreement, the agreement stands voided and BOU shall immediately return SR the value of the settlement.”

On August 10, 2007, Sudhir filed an amendment to the counterclaim and served BOU lawyers, saying that Justice David Wangutusi should find BOU culpable for unjust enrichment having taken Sudhir’s money and refused to return Crane bank.

Sudhir claims BOU also went ahead to institute civil proceedings against him contrary to the CSRA. Through Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), Sudhir said yesterday that BOU officials were supposed to respond to his counter claim within 15 days from the date of service of the amended counter claim.

BOU, the businessman said, has never filed a response.

“On August 28, 2017, we carried out a search in the register at the Commercial court and established that the counter defendants [BOU] had not filed a reply to the counter claim,” says Sudhir’s letter to the Commercial court. “To this end, the counter defendants are out of time within which to file a reply.”

Sudhir said he should win the case without any fight from BOU. “This is, therefore, to pray that a default judgment be entered against the counter defendants [BOU] for payment of USD8,000,000, together with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum as sought in the counterclaim,” Sudhir said.

Asked why they hadn’t filed a defence yet, David Mpanga, a lawyer for BOU, said they were pulled back by Sudhir’s amendments to his counter claim and that the businessman’s lawyers “forgot to serve me”.

Prodded about Mpanga’s assertions, Sudhir’s lawyers admitted they didn’t serve Mpanga but said they served BOU secretary and MMAKS who are the lead lawyers of the bank.

In response to Sudhir’s request, MMAKS advocates yesterday wrote a letter to the registrar of the commercial court, accusing KAA of repeatedly refusing to serve AF Mpanga Advocates despite earlier protests. Nevertheless, the BOU lawyers insist that Sudhir’s application is premature.

In his counter claim, Sudhir said that on January 27, 2017, BOU sold at an undisclosed sum, assets of Crane bank to Dfcu Bank Limited. After the assets sale, Sudhir said, central bank approached him and urged him to settle the dispute, resulting in an agreement captured in the CSRA.

Last evening, BOU filed its defence filed yesterday; saying Sudhir’s narrative of the CSRA and the circumstances surrounding the failure of its implementation is selective.

BOU says Sudhir’s account fails to take into account the basic fact that the counter claimant himself was in fundamental breach of the CSRA, after he refused to provide the settlement consideration in the terms of Clause 3 of the CSRA.

According to BoU Clause 3.1 of the CSRA says, “In consideration of BOU and CBL [Crane Bank limited] agreeing to settle and release claims as specified in the Confidential Settlement and release agreement, SR [Sudhir Ruparelia] agrees: “to pay and/or procure the payment to BOU of the aggregate amount of US $60,000,000.00 (the Settlement Consideration); and (b) to transfer to CBL {In Receivership) or its nominee the Freehold and Mailo titles.”

BOU says that the take over the management of Crane Bank and placing it under receivership; and entering into an arrangement under which DFCU Bank Limited purchased the banks’ assets and assumed its liabilities, were all done in good faith, for appropriate cause and lawfully pursuant to express powers vested in it as regulator under the Financial Institutions Act (FIA).

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