Stanbic denies defying guidelines to auction Victoria Seeds’ assets

A teller counts money in a bank.  Some of Victoria Seeds’ fixed assets were publicly auctioned after following the legal process. PHOTO | FILE 

What you need to know:

  • Earlier, the managing director of Victoria Seeds Limited, Ms Josephine Okot being dissatisfied with the Stanbic Bank’s auction, wrote to President Museveni seeking his intervention.

Stanbic Bank has disputed  allegations that they defied presidential orders limiting movement during Covid-19 lockdown and auctioned Victoria Seeds Limited’s assets.

According to Mr Kenneth Agutamba, the manager corporate  communications at  Stanbic Bank, Victoria Seeds Limited’s loan went into default for over two years.

Loan default

Mr Agutamba says the loan in question first went in default sometime in 2018, two years before Covid-19.

“The bank restrained itself from enforcing its legal rights of sale to explore options to support Victoria Seeds  to manage its debt. We always do this for all our customers,” Mr Agutamba says.

Unfortunately, those efforts were not fruitful, and some of Victoria Seeds’ fixed assets were publicly auctioned after following the legal process.

Mr Agutamba also notes that Victoria Seeds filed an interim application seeking orders stopping the auction of its movable assets by the bank, which Court dismissed on December 21,2021. 

Mr Agutamba advises Victoria Seeds Limited to seek further Court redress if  in doubt.

Earlier, the managing director of Victoria Seeds Limited, Ms Josephine Okot being dissatisfied with the Stanbic Bank’s auction, wrote to President Museveni seeking his intervention. She said there was a request from the Prime Minister for Uganda Development Corporation(UDC) to intervene which Stanbic bank was aware of.

Ms Okot  is also querying the manner in which an officer from the Ministry of Lands, allegedly defied the presidential orders limiting movement during lockdown and went to the Ministry and transferred Victoria Seeds Limited’s land to another person’s names.

She  hinted that UDC had offered Shs1.6b to Stanbic Bank, and doubts whether the person who purportedly bought their seeds factory, had offered a similar amount.

“If it was less, the objective of the bank was never to collect the depositors money, but to commit fraud. Government offers you more but an individual comes with less than that amount,” she says.

She explains that in 2017, they had some delays in payment by Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) for seeds to supply to South Sudan and other government agencies. As a result, they defaulted in loan payment as they were given a very short term between 120 to 150 days to clear these loans.

Ms Okot says due to the war in South Sudan, the store closed for one month. The payment came close to one year later, leaving a huge loss in their books.

They were also delayed payment by the government agencies they had supplied to and they had, had issues then with Stanbic Bank, but they thought they had managed.

 But efforts to get Stanbic bank to establish how much they valued Victoria Seeds Limited assets were in vain.

The executive director for UDC, Mr Patrick Birungi, says they now have a board and shall be making presentations starting January 14, this year.

How loan accumulated       

The managing director of Victoria Seeds Limited, Ms Josephine Okot says in 2017, they had some delays in payment by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for seeds to supply to South Sudan and other government agencies.

As a result, they defaulted in loan payment as they were given a very short term between 120 to 150 days to clear these loans. Due to the war in South Sudan, the store closed for one month. The payment came close to one year later, leaving a huge loss in their books.

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