Bank of Uganda Speaks out on Barclays Bank Shareholding Saga

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change were unable to file a petition challenging last month’s presidential election before the Supreme Court.

The FDC Candidate and his team, visit web as predicted, failed to raise the necessary resources and requirements to beat the 10-day deadline.

The opposition party confirmed on Tuesday evening in a tweet, “We have failed to file an electoral petition today. We shall announce our next best steps on Wednesday 2nd March, 2016.”

The party President Gen Mugisha Muntu said government put a hostile environment for them to be able to make this happen.

He mentioned the confinement of their candidate Col Dr Kizza Besigye, the arrest of their leaders and closure of their offices as some of the reasons for their inability to carry on with the petition.

Meanwhile, Amama Mbabazi, another aggrieved presidential candidate managed to successfully file his petition before the country’s highest court, challenging the elections announced by the Independent Electoral Commission Chairmen Eng. Badru Kiggundu on February.

Mbabazi through his lawyers of Severino Twinobusingye and Company advocates, a few minutes after the court’s closing time was able to lodge his petition.

After filing the Petition, Counsel Severino Twinobusingye called upon Col Kizza Besigye to join in if he so wished.


“Col Besigye if free at any time to join us in this petition as a different party, if he wants to. He is welcome,” said Twinobusigye.

The Supreme Court is expected to review Mbabazi’s petition in the next 30 days according to the court register Tom Chemtai.

The court premises, he added, will open to the public to follow the proceedings which he promised would be expedited.
State has asked High Court judge Alphonse Owiny- Dollo to convict the suspects in the July, ampoule 11, 2010 twin blasts in Kampala.

Thirteen people; Hassan Haruna Luyima, Hussein Hassan Agade, Idris Magondu, Mohamed Hamid Suleiman and Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia are charged with among others  terrorism, murder and being part of the Al Shabaab terrorist group related to masterminding the  twin blasts at Kyadondo and Ethiopian Village  Restaurant in Kabalagala, that left more than 70 people who were watching World Cup finals dead.

Other suspects include Habib Suleiman Njoroge, Isa Ahmed Luyima, Abubaker Batematoy, Dr.Ismail Kalule and Seleman Hijar Nyamandondo.

In a  summary of the evidence, the prosecution side led by Suzan Okalany and Lino Anguzo told court that it is very clear that the suspects who were well aware of what they were doing connived and hatched plans to bomb Kampala, having been part of Somalia based Al Shabaab terrorist group.

Okalany told the judge that Yahya Mbuthia rented an apartment in Nairobi and later vacated it before the stipulated time which she said indicated he had a mission he was hatching together with others.

The lead prosecutor further said that evidence they have indicates that Habib Suleiman Njoroge had been part of the Al Shabaab group where he had trained and later fought for while in Somalia before embarking on a mission to hit Uganda.

“He was among the group of 8 people selected and received special training for the Uganda mission. In his charge and caution statement, he admitted having gone to Somalia and joined Al Shabaab together with others,”Okalany told court.

She further noted that it was Njoroge who got a Toyota Land Cruiser from Arusha(Tanzania), loaded the explosives from Nairobi and later drove it  to Uganda before being used on July 11,2010.

“He travelled with the explosives from Mandera border to Nairobi and later to Kampala. Because he never wanted to be detected, he got the vehicle from Arusha which was very far and costly other than Nairobi where he stayed.”

The prosecutors further accused of Hassan Haruna Luyima of having been directly involved in the plans to bomb Kampala saying evidence produced indicated that while explosives had been brought to the safe house in Namasuba, he comforted Idris Nsubuga that it was easy to denote them as it only required just a phone call.

“After the blasts, Haruna Luyima sent a text message to Nsubuga asking him whether their mission had been successful and the latter answered in the affirmative which shows he was well aware of what was happening,” the prosecutors told court.

Idris Nsubuga who confessed having detonated the Lugogo bomb has since been convicted and sentenced to 25 years prison and used as a state witness.

The prosecutors faulted Haruna Luyima for escorting the Kabalagala bombers to their mission site and was also in possession of keys for their safe house in Namasuba which was used to house the suicide bombers on top of assembling the explosives.

Prosecution said that evidence indicated that Luyima fled to South Sudan immediately after the twin blasts by bus but after 6 months he complained to Nsubuga of harsh conditions and returned to Uganda and to this they presented 2 bus tickets for both journeys.

Omar Awad Omar

The prosecution faulted him for being the funder of the mission to hit Uganda saying that a total of US$35990 was sent by a one Aziz from the UK to Kenya and investigations later found out it was Omar who withdrew the money.

“His number was found roaming in Uganda between May and July 2010 which shows he was in the country to oversee the entire mission. He was often referred t as the boss by other members which shows he played a big role in the mission.”

Dr. Ismail Kalule was faulted for being accomplice to the entire mission having known about it but kept quiet.

“Both direct and substantial evidences should not be looked at in isolation from each other but in collaboration because each of the suspects played a different role but with a common intention,” the lead prosecutor Suzan Okalany told court on Tuesday afternoon.

“The use of mobile phones in communication and detonation of the explosives and later switched off before or after the blasts shows how they planned the mission.”

The prosecutors asked the judge to convict the suspects  for having connived to plan and bomb Uganda.
Bank of Uganda has opened up on the decision by Barclays Bank Plc to reduce its shareholding in Barclays Africa Group Ltd which involves twelve (12) African countries including Uganda, health saying there is no cause for alarm.

“Further to the clarifications offered by Barclays Bank, drugs I wish to reassure the Ugandan public that the Barclays Bank Plc announcement does not affect the operations of Barclays Bank Uganda in any way and there will be no interruption to the services Barclays Bank Uganda Ltd extends to its customers,” said the Central Bank Supervision Executive Director, Justine Bagyenda.

In a Tuesday statement sent to ChimpReports, Bagyenda further stated that, “The regulatory framework in Uganda ensures that any transitions of this nature are orderly and do not affect the soundness and stability of the financial sector as well as provision of financial services to customers.”

Barclays Bank Plc which currently owns 62.3 percent of Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL) thus controlling controls banks in several African countries including Uganda employs 45,000 people across Africa.

The financial institution’s dramatic steps to reduce its stake in BAGL stoked fears Barclays would cease operations on the continent.

The news reports compelled some suspicious customers to withdraw their savings from the bank.

Despite assurances from the bank that customers’ money remains in safe hands, analysts believe the drama surrounding the sale underscores high risks in Africa, low growth prospects and lost glow.


Bagyenda sought to calm nerves, saying Commercial Banks in Uganda are incorporated locally and function as independent subsidiaries and not as branches.

“As such, Barclays Bank Uganda Limited is an independent subsidiary of the Barclays Bank Africa Group (in which Barclays Bank Plc owns 62.3 percent and is fully incorporated and registered in Uganda. Being a subsidiary, Barclays Bank Uganda has its own capital base, management and an autonomous Board of Directors. This insulates the subsidiary from issues affecting the parent entity,” she assured.

The Financial Institutions Act 2004 as amended by the Financial Institutions Amendment Act 2015 and associated regulations provides for a clear procedure for the disposal of Bank of Uganda supervised financial institutions’ shares.

Bagyenda said if the shareholders of any bank choose to dispose off their shares, the Bank of Uganda will undertake the necessary process of vetting new shareholders to ensure they are fit and proper to run a financial institution in Uganda.

She maintained Barclays Bank Uganda Limited “remains solvent and liquid, “adding, “It is well capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio well above the statutory minimum of 8.0 percent. The banking sector in Uganda as a whole has a strong asset and capital base with a capital adequacy ratio of 18.8 percent, as well as a relatively low level of nonperforming loans of about 5.3 percent as at December 2015.”

The Central Bank which oversees the operations of Barclays said “there is no cause for concern arising from the media announcements by Barclays Bank Plc” and that, “Customers should therefore continue with their normal banking transactions without any anxiety.”

Bagyenda said Bank of Uganda is committed to “prudent supervision and regulation of financial institutions in order to ensure the stability and soundness of the financial sector, as well as the safety of customers’ deposits.”

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