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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Rows at United Bank of Africa

Management wars have taken centrestage at the United Bank of Africa, Kenya chapter, bringing operations to a near standstill.   Already, as the management wars persists,  the future of UBA is bleak with word that the bank which has its headquarters in Nigeria has bribed officials at the Central Bank of Kenya investigations and monitoring unit not to take a drastic action.
Sources within the banking industry told your favourite Weekly Citizen that money laundering, inside trading and manipulations of trading are the core business. It is said trading is mostly in foreign exchange with the source being dubious and suspicious businesses.
Until his deportation, the controversial Nigerian drug baron Antony Chinedu was one of its clients. That all is not well at UBA is seen when it made a loss of Sh282 million, totaling to a whopping Sh1.27 billion for the two years.
Why CBK has failed to act on the bank and crack the whip has left many in the industry questioning.
To show how inside trading at UBA is a cause of concern is seen via a civil suit No 286 of 2013 filed by the bank against six defendants among them Mumias Sugar Company. In the case as defendants include Fram transport and Technical Services Ltd, Tom Otieno Onyango , Nahashon Obiero, Philip Jadon  and Fredrick Obiero.
UBA is said to have lost over Sh50 million in the said commercial deal. The case is at Nairobi Commercial and Admiralty division.
That top managers are engaged in dubious deals is further exposed in the battle involving the loss of a further Sh200 million. Sylvia Muteshi Magotsi who was a company secretary and head of legal affairs was fired in January this year.
Sources say she was sacked after being found guilty of not being responsible leading to the bank to loose Sh200 million to two clients.
Her legal office failed to scrutinise documents submitted by two loan applicants leaving the bank in duress. Caught in the saga are international firms Mitts Electrical, PES of South Africa with Suisse Ban Corp standing in as security or guarantee.
Our source reveal that the the manner in which the loan was processed was suspect from the word go and has opened  a can of worms which if CBK is out to unearth goings on at UAB, should move fast and act.
It has emerged the guarantee was not recognised by any first class bank. Since the arrival of Isaac Mwige as the new managing director, things have not been the same. Surprisingly, it is said Mwige and Magotsi also worked at Equity Bank.