By Stephen Kasozi Muwambi
This scandal has been carefully kept under wraps for close to a decade as this website now reveals. This has been possible because one of the alleged perpetrators of the rip-off John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM) was untouchable being a top blue-eyed lieutenant of the president until his drop from the slot of the premier and that of the secretary general of the ruling NRM party.
It all started way back in 2006 when the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) started to encounter statutory capital requirements problems. Such development forced Bank of Uganda, the regulator of financial institutions in Uganda, to raise the red flag on a number of occasions.
The same in turn forced NBC’s owners notably JPAM), the current Premier Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Pepsi Cola tycoon, Amos Nzeyi as well as Mathew Rukikaire, the former junior finance minister in charge of privatization, to go into overdrive seeking for a core investor to resuscitate the now redundant financial institution.
Just around the same time it so happened that a wealthy Arab, Ahmed Darwish Dagher AlMahar was also looking to establish an Islamic bank in Kampala. JPAM using the political influence he wielded at that time would grab the God-sent opening by diverting the investor into buying a big stake into the ailing NBC.
To sway Darwish into to investing in NBC, the Amamas are said to have told the Arab how theirs’ was a viable, credible and well operated financial institution. This did the trick as Darwish abandoned his previous plan of opening up an Islamic bank in town.
Following the verbal talks, Darwish and the Amamas decided to put pen to paper. We came across the agreement they signed. It was drafted on June 1st 2008. It names Amama and Nzeyi as the vendors of 76% of what was indicated to be their issued and paid up shares in NBC while Darwish who was trading as International Investment House and Emirates Africa Link for Strategic Alliance LLC is named as the purchaser of the shares. Rukikaire represented NBC in his capacity as the chairman of that bank.
According to the agreement, Darwish was to pay USD9, 445,714 for 48.702519% worth of the shares that the Amamas purportedly contracted to sell to him. Of that, the Arab paid USD870, 000 on the signing of the document. He was required to clear the balance before or not later than June 30, 2008.
While he claims to have paid USD6, 053,027 of the agreed purchase price already, he adds that the Amamas have since failed to issue a single share certificate to him. The vendors have since changed and are actually only willing to give him less than half of the shares they contracted to sell him.
The Arab has taken to the courts of law to make the vendors make good on the contract or return the dollars they took from him with interest as well as damages for failure to live up to what they undertook to do under the agreement. Keep your eyes glued on this website for more shocking details.
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