Opposition Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] Secretary General, Hon Nandala Mafabi, wishes to see Bank of Uganda governor, Tumusiime Mutebile, and all his subordinates arrested and put away for good.
Mafabi was enraged by the current status of the economy which he says is deeply “depressed”.
Appearing on “NBS Frontline” programme Thursday night, Mafabi said government is running a deficit budget and has to borrow.
Banks would rather lend government than to individuals, he noted, adding that the day government will stop borrowing from banks, banks will be back on the streets looking for individuals to take loans.
“If I had the power, I would arrest all these Bank of Uganda (BOU) guys,” Mafabi said.
He added: “Where were they when things were going wrong at Crane Bank?”
According to Mafabi, Sudhir Ruparelia and his company haven’t erred.
“It is Bank of Uganda! They have simply looked on. Crane Bank made a 7.3bn loss last year. There’s an entity that made a loss which is now being transferred on the bank.”
He said Bank of Uganda (BOU) has never examined Crane Bank’s expansion.
Mutebile, in his defence, says the economy has never been more stable or safe.
But Mafabi insists that alongside Bank of Uganda, Uganda Revenue Authority [URA] should also be investigated for the mess at Crane Bank.
“If the economy is to change, we should invest in value addition and a farmers’ bank. These banks don’t lend to farmers.”
Appearing on the same programme, Wilbrod Owor, a representative from Uganda Bankers Association, also agreed the financial sector is delicate.
“It operates on trust and confidence, two things that must be safeguarded. Business is not where it should be.”
He said even real estate sector is not doing well since most buildings are empty beyond the ground floor.
“Business is not where it should be. Real estate sector not doing well. Most buildings are empty beyond the ground floor,” Owor noted.
He added: “We are confident that the matters are being addressed. There’s still confidence in the financial sector. We need to tackle the problems of our financial sector by examining the causes.”
According to Owor, restoring public confidence in the financial sector is key, noting that agricultural sector too needs more funding.
“Agriculture has the highest rate of non-performing loans (15.3%). Traders are using short term loans to fund long term ventures. That’s where the problem comes from. There’s need for long term capital and banks can’t lead the way on this,” Owor explained.
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, on the other hand, blames the situation on exporting raw materials which bring in little foreign earnings.
“That little is spent on importation, hence economic pressures. We are in trouble but we are not in a very desperate situation. We are still able to feed ourselves,” Opondo said/
According to Opondo, cooperative banks would not survive in these current economic conditions.