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in the media

Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has said preparations for his return from the U.S, where he travelled for specialized treatment following his alleged torture by security personnel last month, are complete.
In a video recording shared on social media Tuesday, Mr Kyagulanyi said he is returning to Uganda to continue with the struggle to have what he described as ‘a better country.’

“I am coming back this Thursday and I encourage citizens to continue struggling for a better Uganda. The people we are scared of are actually very scared of us. They don’t know how to deal with a united group of young people,” Mr Kyagulanyi said dismissing claims that members of his ‘People Power’ movement are violent.

“People Power is not about Bobi Wine but all the people struggling to have a better country. I’m only just one of the more 40 Million Ugandans that continue to suffer. We’re not a group of violent people. We despise violence and are not associated with violent whatsoever. I have been telling you right from the beginning that we should be peaceful but assertive. I know President Museveni and his Lieutenants have tried so much to project us as a violent group so that they can respond to us with violence. Thy have tried to twist everything we say to make it sound like a call for violence,” he added.
However, government on Monday said Mr Kyagulanyi was free to return but should not make it an issue.

“We don't consider Bobi Wine's absence as a much ado. We shall provide, as a government, the usual security and protection guarantees that we provide for all travelers and leaders of his level and if need be to be escorted to his destination. But he should not make his return an issue. By attempting to make it an issue it would appear as if government of Uganda sent him away and is afraid of him returning. His citizenship and rights here are not contested,” government spokesperson Mr Ofwono Opondo told journalists in Kampala on Monday.

25 min 39 sec ago
Bank of Uganda has responded to the Daily Monitor story headlined "How BOU blew Shs 478 billion in the Crane Bank takeover". Bank of Uganda took over the management of Crane Bank in October 2016 before the bank was sold to a rival bank, DFCU in January 2017. 
 
Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile in a press statement issued today says the blowing of Shs 478 billion story is "seriously misleading." According to Mutebile, claims that Bank of Uganda (BOU) spent Shs 478.8 billion from an undisclosed account in the Central Bank under the cover of liquidity support is erroneous. 
"First, the BOU did not take Shs 478 billion from an "undisclosed account". The BOU provided a loan to Crane Bank and this money came from the BOU's own resources. The BOU is a Central Bank and like any other Central Bank it can create financial assets and liabilities. In this case the BOU created a financial asset (the loan to Crane Bank) which was matched by an equivalent liability (an increase in the money supply)." the statement reads. 

"Secondly, the claim that the BOU spent Shs 478 billion "under the cover of liquidity support" implies that the money was actually used for something else besides liquidity support. In fact, the vast majority of this money - Shs 466 billion - actually was liquidity support. Crane Bank had been losing liquidity for months prior to its takeover by the BOU. 

This was because a large share of its loan portfolio was not being serviced by the borrowers and because customers were losing confidence in the bank and withdrawing their deposits. Between the end of June 2016 and the end of September 2016, Crane Bank's deposits fell by Shs 148 billion."

 
Mutebile says as Crane Bank's liquidity drained away, the bank requested liquidity support from the BOU, before the bank was taken over by BOU.
 
He added that at this point, BOU had two possible courses of action; either to provide liquidity support to Crane Bank or not.
 
"If the BOU had chosen the latter course of action, Crane Bank would have been unable to honour its liabilities. It would not have been able to pay depositors who wanted to withdraw their money from the bank or repay the money it had borrowed from other banks in Uganda through the interbank market."

"In effect Crane Bank would have collapsed. Because Crane Bank was such a large bank, its collapse would have risked chaos in the financial system, possibly causing contagion to other banks and bank runs by depositors. That would have caused a huge amount of economic damage. No responsible Central Bank could allow this to happen. Apart from the Shs 466 billon of liquidity support to Crane Bank, the BOU also spent Shs 12 billion in resolving Crane Bank." 

 

According to the governor, these were expenses that were necessary to ensure that the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank could be transferred to another bank, thereby allowing Crane Bank's customers to continue having access to normal banking services."

 
The Shs 478 billion was a cost of ensuring that Crane Bank did not collapse in a disorderly manner, threatening chaos in the banking system and the wider economy and ensuring that its customers retained access to their deposits and to banking services, Mutebile said. 

In any case, BOU, Mutebile says is recovering the Shs 200 billion of the Shs 478 billion through the sale of assets and purchase of assumption transaction which transferred assets and liabilities of Crane Bank to DFCU Bank.

 
The rest of the money (about Shs 278 billion), according to Mutebile will be recovered from Crane Bank's shareholders, who BOU says were responsible for the bank's huge losses. 
27 min 34 sec ago

There is a mystery surrounding the whereabouts of two containers recently impounded by the Minerals Protection Police Unit (MPPU) almost two months ago. 

The two containers were impounded near Katuna border along the Rwandan border on August 5, 2018 on suspicion that they being used to transport gold and iron ore from Uganda illegally.

 

Deputy police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango sent out a message inviting journalists on August 16 to witness the opening of the containers at the Spedag Interfreight Uganda offices in Nakawa in Kampala.

However, the media event was called off under clear circumstances and no explanation was given. Since then, no clear information has been given about the contents in the two containers.

According to reliable sources, shortly after the containers were intercepted, their owners reportedly showed up with documents showing that they had been cleared by the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).  

 

Both containers had what appeared like RRA seals. The businessmen also reportedly claimed that they had picked the minerals from Ngororero district in western Rwanda and were in transit to United States of America. However, a month and half later, the containers have been changing hands between police and ministry of Energy, Mineral Development officials.  

A reliable source in the MPPU said that highly placed persons in government have stalled investigations into the source of the containers. 

"Immediately those containers were impounded, phone calls started coming in from every side. The documents containing details of the owner of the containers whom we had found out was a Rwandan national were called by the ministry of Energy," the source said. 

Onyango revealed that the documentation purportedly issued by RRA and URA turned out to be forgeries. 

"Whatever is in those containers was picked from Kabale or Kisoro districts and the clearances of RRA and URA were forged," Onyango said. 

Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima told URN on August 14 that they have never opened the containers and had handed them over to URA. But URA publicist, Herbert Ssempogo denied knowledge of the containers, saying they have never heard about them. 

"I have contacted our enforcement manager and we don't have any such trucks or containers. Let the person who told you we have them show you any documentary proof," Ssempogo said.

A source at the ministry of Energy Directorate of Geology, Survey and Mining (DGSM) said that the containers were opened and samples taken for analysis. 

"The owners of containers got a clearance to export a different mineral, but when they opened, it was found that they had iron ore from Kabale district, which the president had earlier stopped from being exported," the source said.

In 2013, President Museveni banned the exportation of iron ore as a way of encouraging value addition. His position was that the iron should be locally processed and its steel used to feed the steel industry, which relies heavily on imported iron.

The directive also suggested importation of coal from Mozambique to smelt the iron since Uganda doesn't have its own coal. The directive has been largely implemented and only Moses Kamuntu, a Kampala based businessman has written clearance from Museveni to export iron ore.

According to Global Witness, an organisation that monitors the operation of the extractive industry, Kamuntu exports 10,000 tonnes of iron ore monthly. In July 2018, police impounded an estimated 150 tonnes of iron ore that was heading to Kenya.

Records at the ministry of Energy indicate that Uganda has about 200 million tons of proven iron ore while it is believed that there are 500 million more tons underground.

29 min 45 sec ago

Police officers at all units in Kampala Metropolitan are on high alert ahead of the return of the Kyadondo East member of parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine. 

Bobi Wine is expected to return to the country this Thursday afternoon from the United States of America (USA) where he had gone for medical treatment after reportedly being tortured by security operatives. 

 

Since he announced his return date, Kampala Metropolitan regional and divisional commanders have been holding meetings since Monday to plan the deployment plan for policing legislator's return. More than 1,000 people are anticipated to flock Entebbe road to welcome back Bobi who commands a huge following among the youth. 

A source in police said that the meetings resolved to use Anti-riot Police backed by Military Police as the first line of deployment along Entebbe road, Kampala Central Business District, Kamwokya (Bobi's childhood residence) and Kasangati (Bobi's domicile).

The highest level of manpower is to be put on the Kampala-Entebbe highway where people may gather to see Bobi Wine. Police says Bobi Wine hasn't sought any clearance to hold a procession or an assembly in line with the Public Order Management Act (POMA). Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire warned that whoever takes part in the procession will be arrested. 

 

"There’s no clearance whatsoever - but the law is very clear that; if anyone is planning any procession, they should seek clearance from police. And if you don’t get, anything you do after that shall be arrested." said Owoyesigyire. 

Bobi Wine in a video posted on his Facebook, accused government of planning to stir chaos so that they can taint People Power followers as being violent. According to Bobi, some people are printing some 20,000 red People Power t-shirts to be handed to 'state criminals to cause chaos and make it appear that they are his supporters. He said much as People Power encourages assertiveness, its followers detest violence. 
 
Bobi Wine has been in the USA for the last 18 days. He was cleared to travel for medical attention on August 31 after undergoing medical examination to fill a police Form 3 in support of his torture claims against operatives from the Special Force Command (SFC), guards of President Museveni.

The legislator claims that he was brutally tortured during arrest at Hotel Pacific in Arua on the final day of the Arua municipality by-election campaigns. He was arraigned before the General Court Martial sitting in Gulu for illegal possession of firearms, a charge that was later dropped. He was again re-arrested and charged at Gulu Magistrate's court with treason together with 32 other suspects and remanded to prison for one week before being granted bail.

While in the US, Bobi Wine has held several press conferences and appeared on various international television stations and held mass with Ugandans living in Boston.

31 min 38 sec ago

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