Norway, Netherlands write to govt to stop ‘fake news’ on dfcu

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala. Norway and Netherlands have written to Finance minister asking government to act on “malicious rumours” that continue to portray dfcu as a bank in a crisis.
In a July 17 letter, Ms Annlaug Ronneberg, the Charge d’Affaires at the Norwegian Embassy in Uganda and Mr Henk Jan Bankker, the Netherlands ambassador to Uganda, said the “negative propaganda” against dfcu Bank, could impact investor confidence and foreign direct investment.
The two countries channel funds through their investment vehicles to invest in key sectors of the economy to help spur growth.
Through a joint venture managed by Arise BV, investment companies from the two countries hold majority shareholding in dfcu through Rabo Development BV and FMO (Dutch Development Bank).
“In the interest of nurturing and fostering good business relations between Norway, the Netherlands and Uganda, we [will] appreciate your intervention in mitigating the possible consequences of these rumours to dfcu Bank and the local financial services sector in general,” the letter reads in part.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija, yesterday acknowledged receipt of the letter, saying it was unfortunate that some people continue to propagate such “negative propaganda”.
“It’s very unfortunate that people are saying incorrect things. We are damaging our country,” he said.
However, he did not specify what government was doing to stop the propaganda.
Last week, Mr Elly Karuhanga, the dfcu Group chairman, told Daily Monitor they are investigating the source of this propaganda to understand what it seeks to achieve.
“We are consulting our lawyers for possible legal action against those spreading this false news,” he said.
Dfcu has, since the takeover of Crane Bank, been trolled by a lot of bad press, which according to sources within and outside the bank, who last week asked to remain anonymous, could be propagated by former directors and associates of Crane Bank.
However, former Crane Bank vice chairman, Mr Sudhir Ruparelia, denied the claims last week, saying those making the accusations are only spreading false rumours.
“Let them bring evidence and not [depend] on heresy. These are rumours,” he said
While briefing clients during a customer engagement session in Kampala yesterday, Mr William Sekabembe, the dfcu Bank commercial chief officer and executive director, dismissed the negative propaganda as “fake news”, saying dfcu was here to stay.
“I am here to tell you that it’s all false news. We are not closing, I assure you,” he said.
He also dismissed reports that had suggested that he had resigned from dfcu, which as online publishers had claimed, had thrown the bank into a “leadership crisis”.
“There have been rumours that I have resigned. It is false. I am still employed [by dfcu] and I am very happy to be part of this institution. I am not about to leave,” he added.

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