Max Patrick Ocaido
Parliament: Former shareholder of defunct National Bank of Commerce (NBC) Amos Nzeyi says he will never forgive Justine Bagyenda, former Executive Director in charge of Bank Supervision at Bank of Uganda (BoU) for orchestrating the closure of his bank.
NBC is one of the 7 banks that were controversially closed by the Central Bank and are currently under probe by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE). NBC that was closed in 2012 was founded by several shareholders among them include; Nzeyi, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Prof. George Kanyeihamba and others.
While interacting with the committee on Monday, Nzeyi said that Bagyenda’s illegal decision to close NBC has caused him a lot of pain and subsequently ruined his dreams of studying at the University of Havard where he intended to go and refine his management skills.
On September 27, 2012, BoU Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende with immediate effect took over the management of NBC and sold it to Crane Bank (now defunct) citing under-capitalization which has been rejected by the shareholders who insist that NBC was healthy and complied with requirement of the Central Bank who still insisted on closing it down. Tycoon Nzeyi told that committee that before closure, Bagyenda asked them [shareholders] to recapitalize the Bank with Shs7bn which they did through loans.
“I have suffered heavily because I had to pay the gentleman who lent me the money, I had to borrow money from Exim Bank. I have been paying Shs165m monthly up to date. My life has changed, it has denied my children and grandchildren to go to schools that I wished them to go to. I had hoped to go and polish my management skills at Harvard where they had admitted me but I couldn’t go because of this money,” Nzeyi said.
Nzeeyi said he is not sure if he will forgive Bagyenda for the pain and suffering she has caused him ever since she closed his Bank.
“For Bagyenda, I know when you repent you can be forgiven before God but I don’t know whether some shareholders, most of whom are peasants who sold their goats, land to invest in the bank, will actually forgive you,” he said adding that even religious institutions like Catholics and Protestants had invested in the bank.
“Now, I even fear to go to Kabale because they [shareholders] say where is our money? You ate our money.”
The NBC shareholders accused Bagyenda and Benedict Ssekabira of secretly negotiating the sale of their Bank which was still in business with Crane Bank contrary to the Financial Institutions Act 2004.