By Joachim Twino
After doing close to 12 years as MD, Juma Kissame is finally calling it quits at DFCU Bank. He is quitting at the expiry of his contract and that is going to be in September meaning he barely has two months to go. Juma came in after DFCU got implicated in the Global Fund scandal which saw then MD Robert Anthony Katuntu exit in disgrace. Then there was also the Mzungu MD John Taylor whose tenure was short-lived. It was then that the 55 year old Juma took charge and led his team with enthusiasm. Numerous achievements have no doubt been registered under his tenure the most notorious being the current DFCU headquarters. There have also been low moments including the early 2010s acrimonious departure of then Director Operations Willbroad Owor who currently serves as CEO Uganda Bankers Association (UBA). “Finally Juma is leaving and because he is very rich, he wants to go and oversee the running of his private businesses more directly. These include one of the best private schools in Busoga sub region where he hails from,” said an inside source. It’s understood that Juma had actually wished to quit earlier but was begged to stay on a little longer to manage the acquisition of Crane Bank in a manner that proprietor Sudhir Ruparelia has never stopped to agonize about. Its actually one of the many things Sudhir wants the Commercial Court to adjudicate upon. “Now that he hasn’t only completed the Crane Bank takeover but has also leveraged on that to make DFCU number 2 in the market, the top bosses will have no reason not to let him go,” sources said of Kissame, a seasoned banker who started out working as an accountant at Uganda Development Bank many decades ago. At some point, he also served as an MD for one of the Commercial banks in Tanzania. In his career, Kissame has also mentored and antagonized many like any other person would. He is said to be stinking rich mostly keeping his personal fortune in Bank of Africa where he is one of the biggest depositors-at some point boasting of over $20m in fixed deposits. “When he makes any withdraw, at Bank of Africa the impact will always be felt,” said a source privy to Kissame’s personal banking details. He is also renowned for being thick-skinned as not many would dare acquire Crane Bank given that Sudhir’s capability to fight back is legendary and well-known. Kissame was also one of the few Ugandan bank CEOs very closely friendly to EADB’s troubled expatriate CEO Vivienne Yeda some of whose management troubles he shared. This related to the Euros 8m (over Shs40bn) grant that the German agency Kfw had offered to finance rural enterprises in Ugandan villages through EADB. As usual EADB identifies financial institutions to partner with to administer such grants. The criterion was it had to be a commercial bank with an elaborate branch network across the country so that rural people can access the services of that bank. Three banks applied and competed to implement this grant including DFCU, Finance Trust and Ecobank. Trouble came when EADB bosses became divided on the most suitable bank with which EADB should partner. Majority favored Finance Trust on the strength of its strong branch network presence upcountry but the job somehow went to DFCU prompting disgruntled insiders to petition the Council of EAC Ministers which supervises EADB accusing Yeda of being biased in favor of DFCU which is headed by her close friend Juma. Actually the donor/Kfw became so furious and threatened to withdraw funding until the DFCU saga was clarified in a satisfactory manner. Yeda almost lost her job but the EADB board members shielded her because of her track record as a performer. Juma Kissame’s other low moment came when authorities at DFCU began head hunting looking for his potential successor after the Crane Bank takeover. This hurt Executive Director William Sekabembe who, as his 2nd in command, considered himself a natural successor. “Many saw this as a vote of no confidence in the ED yet all along the thinking had been that Juma was grooming William to take over after him. William became so demoralized and almost accepted the MD offer at KCB. Things have never been the same again as those who believe in him grieved along. However, he was consoled with the doubling of his salary and life continued,” disclosed an inside source close to the matter. Actually up to this day, two months to ending Juma’s contract, the DFCU authorities are still hunting for the appropriate person to replace him as MD. The fact that KCB too is out actively hunting for a Ugandan MD has only made things more complicated for DFCU because the Kenyans at KCB are too aggressive and have offered to hire at much more than DFCU is offering. “It’s a serious head hunt because there are many guys that have so far been contacted but whoever the guys at KCB hear has been approached by DFCU, they come with a bigger offer,” says a UBA source privy to this intensive head hunt. “The Kenyans have a Kenyan MD heading KCB and is doing a good job but because of the way the market is complex, it’s an added advantage to have an MD who is a local Ugandan. It makes a lot of difference to potential depositors from lucrative places like Kikubo.” It’s really a complex situation because authorities at DFCU believe that Juma’s successor is going to inherit even a more demanding job because of the expansion that resulted from Crane Bank acquisition. Sources close to him say, Juma is also anxious to be out of the DFCU at earliest opportunity so that future criminal cases in the London Courts that the relentless Sudhir is understood to be pondering (targeting some DFCU officials) commence when he has long ceased being among those calling shorts at DFCU. For comments, call/text/whatsapp us on 0703164755.