From left, PS Keith Muhakanizi, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and Louise Kasekende

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) board is once again on the wrong side of the law by not sacking 12 staff who were found guilty of falsifying their age and instead allowed the officials to retire voluntarily. The BoU Administration Manual (April 2018) says such staff must be dismissed with disgrace.

The irregularity was established after BoU management asked all staff to submit copies of their national identification cards, where it was found out that 12 staff had their dates of birth not matching with on their national IDs.

The staff that should have been dismissed by BoU Board outright include; Modesto Auka-Director of the National Payment System Department, Stephen Ssemugga-Director Administrative Services and Solomon Oketcho-Executive Director of Administrative Services. Others are; Patrick Opio-Assistant Director Security and Peter Rumanzi Ivan-Assistant Director of the Petroleum Fund.

More others include; Sophie Odongo Ekuka (Currency Department), Julius Enyasu (Security), Adonia Mpora (Administrative Services), Fred Olonga (Non-banking institutions Department), Patrick Simon Katamba (Commercial banking), Stella Kaitesi Lubega (Statistics) and Peter Musai Wamurumba (Banking).

The board, according to a source, sat last month and decided that the affected individuals retire voluntarily which would make them enjoy their retirement benefits as opposed to if they were dismissed.

Dr Jan Tibamwenda, Director Human Resources, on November 16, 2019 wrote to BoU Deputy Governor Dr Louise Kasekende to actualize what the board had decided as regards the affected staff who it said it would not have their age submitted when they joined BoU altered but allow them retire voluntarily.

“The purpose of this memo is to seek for your approval for the above mentioned staff to voluntarily retire rather than considering the Administrative Manual (April 2018) penalty recommendation under Section 6.9.11 that calls for outright dismissal,” Tibamwenda wrote.

BoU board is headed by Governor Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile. Kasekende is his deputy on the board as well. Other board members include; Josephine Okui Ossiya, James Kahooza, Judy Obitre Gama, Dr. William Kalema, Keith Muhakanizi-Finance Ministry PS and Secretary to the Treasurer.

Parliament’s Committee on Commissions State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) which probed BoU over the irregular sale of seven commercial banks faulted the board for watching as officials mismanaged the closure of banks like Teefe Trust Bank, Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited.

Having established the weakness of the BoU Board, COSASE, in its report recommended that management of the Central Bank be separated from the board, which plays the supervisory role. Currently it appears both Tumusiime-Mutebile and Kasekende have powers to dedicate what the board should do despite the same officials playing the management role as well.

The Ministry of Finance which supervises BoU promised sweeping changes after the COSASE report but the current development at BoU means the ministry is yet to do anything as per the recommendations.

It should be remembered that another report faulted Tumusiime-Mutebile for recruiting some senior staff without the involvement of other board members. Among them is the current executive director of Bank Supervision Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi.

However, by allowing staff who falsified their age to retire voluntarily instead of the BoU board dismissing them with disgrace, it means the taxpayer will lose.