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Sudhir’s son demands dfcu retracts bribery claims or face legal action

BANK WAR | Rajiv Ruparelia, son of property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia, has asked Development Finance Bank of Uganda (dfcu) retract it’s claims that he is sponsoring sustained social media and news websites attacks on its business or face legal action.

Besides the allegations that he has been paying journalists to run negative stories about dfcu Bank, Rajiv’s other major issue is publication of his mobile phone contact in the legal notice that went public. He says the number is confidential but has been made public without his consent.

Last week, dfcu Bank, through its lawyers Kalenge, Bwanika, Ssawa and Company Advocates (KBS), claimed that ever since it acquired and assumed some of the liabilities of Crane Bank 10 months ago, Rajiv, as an individual, has “sponsored, coordinated, and propagated a fake news campaign against its operations and business.”

In an October 5 notice addressed to Rajiv, KBS claimed the motive of alleged social media and news portals attacks on dfcu Bank is to cause a bank run (when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously due to concerns about its solvency) and eventual collapse of dfcu.

“You have variously paid the operators of online news sites and blogs to spread malicious falsehoods about our client and its senior management, all to create an impression that our client is in a precarious financial situation and an ownership and management crisis whereas this is not the case,” the legal notice, copied to Security minister Gen Elly Tumwine, Internal Security Organisation director Col Frank Kaka and CID chief Grace Akullo,” the communication read in part.

Now in a legal notice dated October 8, 2018, Rajiv, through Walsuimbi and Company Advocates, has hit back, accusing dfcu of using it’s communication to widely circulate his phone number, a detail he says is held by the bank by virtue of having taken over from Crane Bank.

“Our client[ Rajiv] begrudges this breach of confidence actionable both civilly and criminally and accordingly requires an immediate formal apology similarly shared on all platforms hitherto published to, together with atonement for the same all not later than by the close of business this week,” the notice drafted by Walusimbi and company advocates partly reads.

dfcu in a spot of bother

In its notice, dfcu demanded a written apology from Rajiv. KBS also named several bloggers and news portals and their editors that it claimed were in bed with Rajiv to run “malicious falsehoods” against dfcu.

But in his counter threat to sue, Rajiv seems to be in a defiant mood and has come out seeking for retraction rather than him apologising to the second biggest bank in the country.

“Our client also demands that the publications expressed as notice of legal action date October 5, 2018 and referenced-2018-071-01, be forthwith retracted from the aforesaid forums and his customer rights be honored in full,” the communication reads.

It adds: “All correspondences regarding this subject should be addressed through our chambers.  Expect no further warning.”

Meanwhile, some of the online media managers accused of taking bribes from dfcu have since threatened to counter sue the bank for defamation.

 

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