By Moses Kaketo
President Yoweri Museveni is said to be troubled about the governance, infighting and scandals at Bank of Uganda. And is said to be planning to replace his long-serving Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile (ETM) and his deputy Dr Loius Kasekende.
The contract of Loius Kasekende, expires January 2020 while that of ETM expires in 2021.
The president is said to have heard enough of the infighting of the two BoU bosses and the mess at the institution that was at one time described as one of the country’s ‘few remaining good institutions’’. Not anymore.
The infighting at BoU, and the recent scandals at the bank of all banks, has, according to available and reliable sources been keeping the president awake at night. It is said, he has since moved his ‘axe’ closer and it could be a matter of time.
A source at BoU told Newz Post that the two BoU bosses are not sure of their fate and keep their ears on radio and eyes on social media.
Another trusted source says, before the president went for a ‘retreat’ at his ranch in Kisozi, Gomba district this week, the president reportedly asked his handlers for the file of Bank of Uganda.- an indication that he is considering to do make a major surgery on the powerful institution charged with fostering price stability and a sound financial system.
Other sources close to corridors of power say, to rebuild the institution, the president is likely to fire the two bosses. It is said, the 60 employees at BoU, are now divided between two camps [perceived or real] for and against The Governor and the Deputy Governor.
Who are potential candidates?
A couple of Ugandans are said to be positioning themselves for Governor and deputy Governor Positions. Sources say, the list has dropped to six candidates:
When two Ministers [names withheld] recently went to the president requesting him to appoint a new Treasury Secretary, claiming the current PS’s health was deteriorating, the president is said to have quietly telephoned the doctors in Turkey where Keith Muhakanizi was undergoing treatment. The Doctor’s assured the head of state that his man was recovering and would return to work soon.
To the surprise of the two ministers, when Keith returned from treatment, the president immediately renewed his contract for another three years. That’s Keith for You.
According to dependable sources, Keith is among top candidates lined up to for Governor or deputy Governor Position.
Muhakanizi is a man with unquestionable loyalty to the president. He speaks his mind. He is someone who will argue with the president for some time before releasing the money.
Muhakanizi has over the years gained experience in running the economy and said to be in good books with the donors. Donors have a say on who should be governor bank of Uganda.
Keith is said to be backed by ‘strong’ men and women from western Uganda.
Currently the Bank of Uganda executive director for research, Mugume headed the modeling division between 2007 and 2010. He holds a PhD from Oxford University, UK, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Botswana.
He also consulted for the World Bank and African Economic Research Consortium between 2004 and 2007. His experience lies in economic forecasting and policy analysis; macroeconomics, applied econometrics, and fiscal and monetary policies.
Mugume is said to be being backed by a powerful official who is not only too close , but also has a direct and unquestionable access to the president.
He has been principal of Makerere University Business School for 17 years. He holds a PhD from the University of Sterling, Germany, which he acquired in 2009.
He has an MBA from the University of Delhi (1981) and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Delhi, which he acquired in 1979.
Balunywa has served on several boards, including Uganda Airlines, Bank of Uganda and Kakira Sugar Works.
He is said to be very close to the President. President Museveni has openly praised the Mubs principal.
The man from Eastern Uganda, is said to have the backing of the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.
Mrs Joyce Okello is the current Executive Director/Personal Assistant to the Governor.
She is among the people ETM recently promoted.
Having worked in the Governor’s office for couple of years, Joyce Okello feels she can fit in Prof. Mutebile’s or Kasekende’s shoes.
Mrs Okello, from northern Uganda, is said to be having the full support of her husband- the state minister for international affairs Henry Oryem Okello.
Dr. William Kalema 74, a board member of BoU, is also said to be interested in being Governor or deputy Governor.
He is the Country Managing Director of BDO East Africa, a professional firm that offers audit, accounting, tax and business advisory services He has worked as a consultant to businesses, government, and development agencies since 1992
He has previously served on several boards. He holds a Masters and Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cambridge and a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from California Institute of Technology
He happens to come from the same region [Kigezi sub region] as Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.
A regular speaker at the induction MPs, Prof. Nuwagaba 55, is very staunch supporter of NRM and President Museveni
He is an international consultant on economic transformation. He is a wealth creation expert in Africa. He recently qualified (MBA) in application of central bank monetary policy on commercial bank competitiveness.
The managing consultant at REEV Consult International Limited, has previously worked as Consultant for the African Peer Review Mechanism under NEPAD.
Nuwagaba is a member of the World Bank Consultative Group that developed the African Plan of Action.
Unconfirmed sources say, Nuwagaba might be using powerful figures from Kigezi region to beat off competition.
Other potential candidates are Kiiza Lawrence, formerly [Long serving Director of Economic Affairs] ministry of Finance and Former Uganda Development Bank Board Chairman Prof. Samuel Sejjaaka. However, sources say, the later seem to have lost the race.
Kiiza, retired from the Finance ministry quietly in 2017. In 2016 at the requiem mass of former PSST Chris Kasami, President Museveni mentioned Kiiza amongst only four Ugandans who he said had helped him manage the economy.
A foreigner to head BoU?
Sources close to corridors of power say, the appointing authority, given the current troubles could at BoU could also prefer to appoint a foreigner as Governor
The reason behind, is simple, such person has no attachment to tribe and religion, the two factors that threaten to bring down the powerful institution. if the president decides to appoint foreigner, Uganda will not be the first country to do so.
Two Ugandans has previously served as Governors and deputy Governors for Bank of Botswana and Namibia respectively. That is late the Prof C.N Kikonyongo and Dr. Emmanuel Luule.
Can Museveni sack Mutebile Now?
Analysts agree that despite his many weaknesses, Tumusiime Mutebile’s shoes might be too big for many. As thus it is not an easy task to fire him now, as we drawn closer to 2021 elections.
First appointed in 2001. Mutebile is credited for standing up against different pressures and not being afraid to tell donors that some of their policies were “stupid.” He also disagreed with the president on many occasions.
Insiders say Museveni must be looking for someone who can restore local and international confidence in the central bank whose reputation has suffered due to couple of scandals.
Whatever, he decides, the president has reportedly widely consulted and must be ready to handle the effects of his decision.
The president is said to be looking at individuals of impeccable character and strong finance management pedigree to match. But also a loyal cadre. Who has all these qualities? Your guess is as good as ours.
Dont miss part two- the infighting at Bank of Uganda, coming soon
More about the author: Moses Kaketo