EXCLUSIVE: Top Bank Baits MPs with UGX1Bn Loans

In a since-deleted tweet, former Minister of Gender, Frank Tumwebaze has blasted Centenary Bank enticing MPs Shs1billion loan offers.

Tumwebaze took to his twitter handle sharing two screenshot messages he had received from Centenary Bank both on 18th and 19th May 2021 which read: “Hon Frank Tumwebaze, Congratulations on your achievement, Centenary Bank is delighted to offer you very attractive terms for a credit facility of up to Shs1Bn and 15.5%,”. The bank went further and attached names and contacts of its staff the former Minister could call in case he was in need of a loan and these included; Irene, Bran, Andrew, Martin and Grace.

Tumwebaze didn’t hide his frustration at the messages asking the Bank to stop saying he knows where to find them in case he develops an appetite for their loan. However, he later deleted the tweet, although the screenshots still appear on his twitter handle.

Other new MPs also admitted having received messages not only from Centenary bank, but other financial institutions and money lenders.

Tumwebaze’s ordeal comes at the time former Speaker Kadaga warned the new MPs against falling for loan schemes set by money lenders and advised them to only take loans when need arises, not because their banks are giving them loans.

Kadaga said that even before MPs took oath, money lenders had already camped around Parliament and had already started sending messages to new MP elects promising to secure them loans to a tune of Shs1Bn in three days.

“I don’t want anyone to touch the loans until August. I want them to know how much money you are getting for a month, how much money you need for rent and actually, do you actually need the loan or you can live off the money you earn from here,” said Kadaga.

It should be recalled that in the 10th Parliament, former Kyadondo East MP, Apollo Kantinti was sent to Luzira prison for failing to pay Shs108M to his political rival from NRM Sitenda Sebalu in legal costs following an election petition. 

Kantinti also received another six month sentence in Luzira prison for failing to pay a Shs260M out of the Shs300M loan he had acquired from Standard Chartered bank when he had just won a seat in the 10th Parliament.

Henry Musasizi, former Chairperson Parliament’s Finance Committee cautioned the new MPs to forget about the excitement, calm down, settle in and then determine how they are going to manage their personal finances.

The same sentiments are shared by Uganda Police. The force is advising politicians to be cautious since they are potential targets of fraudsters who will use every tactic to lure them into seemingly attractive financial deals. “As we congratulate the successful politicians’ swearing-in this week, we would like to inform them that due to their new status, they are a potential target for fraudsters, loan shacks and money lenders, who will tempt them to use all sorts of tactics to lure them as VIPs into financial deals that appear too attractive. Others will use aggressive tactics to extort money out of them,” a statement from Police PRO Fred Enanga reads in part.

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