Ministers, Tycoons with huge loans that crippled Crane Bank named - Daily Post Uganda

Ministers, Tycoons with huge loans that crippled Crane Bank named


Prominent politicians and business tycoons were partly responsible for the downfall of Crane Bank as they could not clear loans worth billions of shillings in time— some failed to pay at all.

Leaked documents now show Ugandan top politicians and business icons who borrowed over Shs 750 billion failed to pay in time, driving the bank into a financial ditch, forcing BOU to sell it hurriedly to its competitor dfcu bank that would later make over 70 percent profit in the first six months after takeover.

According to the list of loans and advances as of October 2016, Simba Telecom owned by Patrick Bitature had an outstanding loan of Shs 12bn, Amina Moghe Hersi of Oasis mall Shs 11bn, Steel and Tube Industries Shs 6bn, Catha motors, Nile plywood Uganda limited Shs 100M, Robert Kabushenga Shs170m and Andrew Mwenda the Independent Magazine CEO with an outstanding balance of over Shs200m.

The document further indicates that former ICT Minister John Nasasira had an unpaid balance of Shs 400m, Kuku Foods, Shs 500m from Crane Bank. Nasasira is one of president Museveni’s close friends who served the country mostly as Cabinet minister over decades Museveni has been in power.

Former ICT Minister Ham Mulira had an outstanding balance of Shs 175m while Chris Katuramu, the brother of former Tooro Kingdom Premier Sanyu Katuramu had a balance .

Former First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service Henry Kajura Muganwa was still paying back a loan of Shs 200m

The leaked document further shows that Spencon services limited acquired a loan of Shs 22.5bn and  Nabukeera Christine 16.8bn. They had not cleared their liabilities at the time BOU sold Crane Bank.

Other businessmen like John Katto and Robert Kabonero took loans of above a billion each but had not cleared them as BOU let the hammer fall on Crane Bank.

The document shows that when the bank was put under receivership, businessman Mukesh Shukla of Shumuk Group of Companies was yet to clear a loan of Shs 2bn. Other customers who acquired loans were also clearing.

Fountain Publishers, a publishing company in Uganda and Rwanda owned by James Tumusiime, also had an outstanding balance of Shs 1.4bn.

Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa had an outstanding balance of Shs 1bn.

Some of the prominent borrowers at Crane Bank

Before BOU took over what was then considered to be the fast-growing bank in the country, Sudhir Ruparelia, one of majority shareholders, had unsuccesfuly asked government to bail out the bank as customers pay back the loans.

Having bought Crane bank, DFCU made profit of Shs 114billion in the first six months of 2017 up from Shs 26b made in the previous year. Dfcu had never made such profits before.

On October 25, 2016, BoU took over Crane Bank and suspended all members of its board, saying the then biggest indigenous bank was ‘incurably drained financially and posed a systemic risk to the country’s banking sector’. The central bank later sold Crane Bank to dfcu Bank in January 2017.



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