In a recent ruling on October 24, 2023, Justice Tadeo Asiimwe has mandated dfcu bank to promptly vacate properties formerly owned by Crane Bank Limited.
Dfcu acquired Crane Bank, including its assets, for Shs 200 billion in January 2017 following the Bank of Uganda’s decision to sell it. Crane Bank faced financial troubles in October 2016, leading to its undercapitalization, appointment of a statutory manager, and eventual receivership before dfcu’s acquisition.
Meera Investments Ltd initiated a civil suit in 2017 against dfcu and the commissioner for land registration, demanding the vacation of properties and the transfer of leasehold interests. In the recent ruling, Justice Asiimwe declared the transfer of leasehold interests for over 48 properties from Crane Bank Limited as tainted with illegality and fraud, rendering it invalid.
The judge also issued a permanent injunction against dfcu, restraining them from trespassing on the contested properties, and awarded general damages totaling Shs 2.4 billion with an 8% annual interest until payment.
It has come to light that dfcu bank reportedly disregarded a November 2021 legal advice from the Ministry of Lands Commissioner, Baker Mugaino, urging them to return the leasehold certificates of titles for the disputed 48 properties belonging to Crane Bank Limited.