Jimmy Mugerwa has until recently been the General Manager of Tullow Oil in Uganda. However, in the recent past, he has been more famous or rather infamous for his “moonlighting” job as troubled dfcu Board Chairman than his day job.
News reaching us is that Mugerwa has been called to serve at the Tullow Oil headquarters in London. The oil company has replaced Mugerwa with Mariam Nampeera Mbowa who has been serving as Tullow’s General Counsel for East Africa since 2015.
After the January 2017 takeover of Crane Bank by dfcu, Mugerwa’s name in the news has been more synonymous with dfcu than Tullow.
A 2018 Auditor General report on the Crane Bank take over by dfcu pointed at possible corruption and private gain by individuals involved in the deal. BoU allegedly spent over Shs459billion as liquidity support when they took over statutory management of Crane Bank in October 2016, before selling it dfcu at a reported Shs200billion.
The auditor general’s report led to a Parliament probe into the sale of seven commercial banks that pointed to more irregularities including Crane Bank having sold via phone.
Under Mugerwa’s watch as dfcu Chairman, the bank has been involved in series of legal battles with former Crane Bank shareholders including a property row; where dfcu transferred 48 Meera Investments properties that used to house Crane Bank’s countrywide branch network to themselves.
Sebalu & Lule Advocates, the law firm that advised dfcu to transfer the properties to their names were recently declared as conflicted and ineligible to represent the bank any case against former Crane Bank Vice Chairman and Meera Investments owner Sudhir Ruparelia as they had previously served as his lawyers.
Still under Mugerwa’s watch, dfcu witnessed a massive staff exodus and major shareholders British government development finance institution CDC pulling out.
As Mugerwa served both as dfcu Chairman and Tullow Uganda Managing Director, it was increasingly difficult to separate dfcu bad press from Tullow and this could have led to the transfer, paving way for a clean slate for the company.
Dfcu is yet to release a statement on whether Mugerwa will retain his Chairmanship position, but like the adage “out of sight out of mind goes” they must be shopping around for a new board chairman.