As the contract for the Governor Bank of Uganda Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile (ETM) and Deputy Governor Dr. Louis A. Kasekende come to a end, the battle lines for who should be the next Central bank boss have been drawn.
Sources at Bank of Uganda told Newz Post that the succession battle has been taken to another level.
The Staff have reportedly been divided into two camps [perceived or real, for and against the Governor and the Deputy Governor] something that threatens the performance of institution charged with fostering price stability and a sound financial system.
It said, the appointing authority has been briefed, about this unfortunate incident.
The ETM contract expires in 2021 while that of his deputy ends in January 2020. A difference of one year.
Insiders say, there is a possibility [given ETM’s ill health] that Dr. Kasekende may take over as Governor anytime. There is also a possibility that Kasekende’s contract could be extended beyond 2020. He began his five-year term on 18 January 2010.
Dependable sources say, those seen to be on Governor’s camp think it is better to fight Kasekende now [thus the negative press against him] so that his contract is not renewed or even not promoted.
This is Mutebile’s last term.
Sources say, by fighting Dr. Kasekende [as his term comes to a close] and see him out, it’s an opportunity for those seem to be on the Governor’s side to shine, takeover Kasekende’s current position.
According to a highly placed at source BoU, quoting a Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee, ‘‘Majority of senior staff interviewed agreed that there factions or cliques in the bank polarized around positions of the Governor and the deputy Governor’’
The committee was formed to investigate allegations surrounding a decision taken by the Governor bank of Uganda on 7th February 2018.
One staff characterize the cliques as potentially religious-based. In the words of the staff
‘‘there is a risk of division according to religion in that bank. Catholics and Anglicans have their own groups. They have meetings and each has its own power’’ the source added.
The Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile is protestant while the deputy Governor is a catholic.
Poison, witchcraft scare
Another staff says following the cliques, there is fear of poison and witchcraft at the Bank of Banks in Uganda.
It is said, some senior managers now carry with them their own tea and drinking water from home. And for lunch, they either go home or eat out from restaurants they trust.
‘’ it’s ugly’’ the source said.
The source adds; lunchtime that used to be enjoyable during which senior staff brainstormed, is a thing of the past. The informal meetings during lunch would go up to 3pm. Not anymore.
Sources say, some staff can be heard telling ‘’to watch out’’, ‘‘XXX may poison you,, bewitch you’’
Our efforts to get clarification from Bank of Uganda communication department were futile as our emails and reminders were unanswered for two days.
According to Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee, The cliques escalated in February last year, when Governor, in one man affair [he did not consult anyone, not even his Deputy who is in charge of administration nor the board members]Transferred, promoted, sourced staff.
Specifically, the Governor appointed six staff from outside the bank without interviews. The newly appointed staff were also granted permanent and pensionable terms contrary to Bank’s probationary policy of two years.
The Governor promoted nine staff members to assistant director level without conducting interviews. While one deputy director was demoted to assistant director without justification, namely Ms Angela Kasirye
Section 4:3 of the BoU HR manual specify three processes in terms of recruitment procedure, namely; advertisement, selection process and shortlisting. The Governor ignored this process. The Human Resource and Remuneration Committee of the Board also disowned Mutebile.
The report adds that all of the staff interviewed indicated that the staff changes made by the Governor were a complete surprise.
According to A confidential Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee “Staff indicated a loss of confidence on account of unclear implementation or disregard of human resource policies especially with regard to succession. It was felt that policy is applied selectively,”
Sources say, in these changes, a group associated with Dr. Kasekende’s camp lost, as nearly non from their camp got promoted.
Some staff, say, in these changes, Mutebile wanted to boost his camp.
The battles the two camps have purportedly fought
The camp associated with Dr. Kasekende has already dragged some of the People ETM promoted to the IGG, claiming they [specifically] Dr. Tumubweine’s qualifications are below the Bank of Uganda stipulated requirements.
He got pass degree.
In the report to the IGG, the camp claims, Dr. Tumubweine’s academic qualification fell the standard requirement of 1st class and Upper second honors. His skills also fell below the standard sets for exceptional circumstances which is lower second honours degree.
Dr. Twinemanzi lacked experience in commercial banking as stipulated in the job description for executive director supervision.
A confidential Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee, recommended that these changes should be reversed.
Bank of Uganda system clashes
When Bank of Uganda real time gross settlements (RTGS) ‘clashed’ on 17th July 2019, it was an opportunity for the camp said to be associated with Dr. Kasekende to expose the other camp.
In February changes, among the people ETM appointed was a one Edward Mugerwa as Director IT operations. Mr. Mugerwa, lacked the minimum requirement of master’s degree in computer science/ engineering.
He only possessed a bachelor’s degree.
The Bank IT astaff were not happy with this particular appointment, since some of them [sources say they belong to other camp] had the skills, experience, and academic qualification for this job. The disgruntled IT staff would later look for opportunity to expose the man.
The opportunity came on 17th July 2019. Mr. Mugerwa, is said to belong to Governor’s camp.
System failures according to ICT experts is a normal thing. And this is not the first time, the BoU system clashed. However, it was an opportunity to fight their battles
On 17th July 2019, the bank of Uganda RTGS system developed a mysterious failure, forcing the Governor to suspend processing for large payments for most of the day. As noted earlier, system failure is a normal thing. However, the disgruntled staff leaked the news to press and it made headlines the next day.
This was another win for the group associated with Dr. Kasekende.
The BoU director for communications, Ms Charity Mugumya told the Daily Monitor “It is true that the RTGS had some temporal challenges but they have now been resolved and the system is operating normally,”
From her response it is clear, it was never about the system, but about wars at Bank of Uganda.
Insiders say, the president has one choice, to sack both the Governor and his Deputy. Otherwise if he sacks one, the other camp will claim victory and the fighting will continue. This is not good for the bank and the economy as a whole.
However, if he chooses to appoint someone outside the bank, analysts say, the new Governor and his/ her deputy will have to disband the entire BoU senior management team. Otherwise, the two camps are now deeply rooted.
The other option for the president, observers say, is to appoint a foreigner as a Governor. A foreigner has no attachment to tribe nor religion. Sources close to corridors of power, say, the president at one time hinted it, as long term solution to the infighting at BoU.
In the next article: don’t miss the new findings of ‘‘currency saga’’