Cliques at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) continue to emerge day- in- day-out, even as the central bank tries to lay strategies for stabilization after a series of scandals that have tarnished its image.
The latest is that some top officials at the institution are against its Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile over the appointment of two senior officials without their input.
It should be recalled that in February 2018 Tumusiime-Mutebile made staff changes where he fired former executive director of supervision Justine Bagyenda and replaced her with Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi.
A committee that was appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to investigate staff changes would later establish that Tumusiime-Mutebile made some transfers and appointed Twinemanzi without consulting other members of the BoU board, a decision they say was wrong as the governor had no powers to make changes single handedly. Worse still, most of the staff head picked by the governor did not meet the qualifications and experience required for the jobs. For instance, Dr. Tumubweine does not have any experience in commercial banking.
It is said also that without consultation, Tumusiime-Mutebile appointed Dr. Joseph Byamugisha to assist BoU in a case against Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments. Byamugisha was appointed after court barred lawyers of MMKAS Advocates and AF Mpanga Advocates from representing BoU against Sudhir due to conflict of interest as the two law firms have ever worked for the businessman and his Ruparelia Group of companies.
Insiders say Deputy Governor, Dr Louis Kasekende, Director Legal department, Margaret Kasule, Dr William Kalema (board member), Ben Sekabira, the BoU Director Financial Markets Development Coordination, James Kahooza (BoU board member and former Auditor General) are up in arms accusing Tumusiime-Mutebile of tribalism. They allege Twinemanzi and Byamugisha were recruited to serve BoU because they are Bakiga like Tumusiime-Mutebile.
As such the group above is against working with Twinemanzi and Byamugisha. In fact insiders say that they are frustrating Twinemanzi to the extent that they don’t want him to be confirmed by the board that Tumusiime-Mutebile chairs with Kasekende as his deputy. The role COSASE wants both officials to be relieved of if the central bank is to be managed efficiently.
However, other sources within BoU say the Kasekende-led group is also unhappy with Byamugisha who is not ‘eating’ with them the money paid as legal fees to him. Remember that during COSASE probe MMAKS Advocates received over Shs3 billion as transaction advisors in the sale of Crane Bank Limited (CBL) to Dfcu Bank in January 2017. MPs on COSASE were shocked of this payment. It is said top BoU officials colluded with the lawyers to take home part of that money.
The committee appointed by Museveni also established that BoU has cliques, one aligned to Tumusiime-Mutebile and the other to his deputy Kasekende. That was revealed as the committee members interviewed senior staff at the institution that is supposed to be of high integrity, given the work that it does.
Recently some BoU staff in Mbale currency centre were caught by security organs as they ferried out sacks of old currency that were meant to be destroyed. BoU has since issued stringent measures in as far as accessing currency points is concerned. It has also transferred staff to deal in a bid to deal with the challenge.
The said clique has made Mutebile hard especially in board meetings where he finds himself against the rest which makes it hard for him during decision making. Eagle Online has also learnt that the Kasekende clique is unhappy that Mutebile seem to be regaining his lost authority given that recently he has asserted his authority which makes it difficult for this group. The Kasekende group is reportedly waiting for the exist of Mutebile from BoU before they push Twinemanzi and Deputy Director Barenzi Nantamba.
However, sources say after the money printing scandal that pitted Barenzi Nantamba against the embattled Director of Currency department, Charles Malinga who the Kasekende’s accusing of whistle blowing to governor, Nantamba has been recruited in their camp.