Dr Louis A. Kasekende’s journey as the Deputy Governor at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) is supposed to end on January 13, 2020, after getting the second five-year term on January 18, 2010. He first served the bank from 1999 until 2002. Latest reports show he handed over office today as he awaits his fate, having allegedly asked for contract extension.
Kasekende alongside his boss Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile have been credited for ensuring that the central bank fosters price stability and a sound financial system. Together with other institutions, BoU has played a pivotal role as a centre of excellence in upholding macroeconomic stability.
However, Dr Kasekende had his reputation brought to questions following the probe of BoU on the sale of seven defunct commercial banks whose closure and liquidation were questioned as the exercise ignored laid down guidelines and procedures.
The affected banks that had Kasekende’s reputation tarnished were; Teefe trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Greenland Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited.
It should be remembered that Kasekende resisted the idea that the Auditor General probe BoU over the closure of the seven banks to the extent that he had to seek legal opinion from the solicitor general. The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga would silence Kasekende over the matter he thought it was subjudice.
The Auditor General in his report would accuse Kasekende and other senior officers of BoU of not giving him all the documents needed at the time to carry out proper investigations. MPs on COSASE late by Abdu Katuntu would later force Kasekende and others to produce some of the required documents which they thought were confidential whereas not.
MPs on COSASE in their recommendations, said that Kasekende’s and Tumusiime-Mutebile’s positions as Chairman and vice chairman of BoU board weakened the institution’s supervision as they reported to themselves. They continue to do so as the recommendations to delink the two officials from the board has not been effected by the Ministry of Finance under which BoU falls.
A committee appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to look into the cause of tension within the BoU staff established that there was a clique aligned to Kasekende and the other supporting his boss Tumusiime-Mutebile, which the senior staff interviewed said it was not good for the institution’s smooth running.
It is said Kasekende wants President Museveni to give him another contract. He is said to be lobbying the Catholic establishment to do this job alongside top gurus in the Ministry of Finance.
Should Kasekende leave BoU, it will be the beginning of the reorganisation of the institution whose image has been tainted by the recent scandals such as the theft of the old currency notes by its staff, just to mention but a few. If he leaves, he will do so leaving BoU in dire need of capitalization, as cited by the 2020/21 budget framework paper. BoU has spent billions of taxpayers’ money carelessly as it dealt with MMKAS Advocates, Sebalu & Lule Advocates who court said were conflicted in the BoU versus Ruparelia Group of Companies.
Kasekende’s other postings
From May 2006 to 2009, he served as Chief Economist of the African Development Bank (AfDB). As Chief Economist, he was the Bank’s spokesperson on socio-economic and development issues of importance for Africa. He supervised the Development Research Department, the Statistics Department and the African Development Institute. Between 2002 and 2004, he served as Alternate Executive Director and later as Executive Director at the World Bank for Africa Group 1, including 22 countries mostly from Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining the World Bank, he had worked for 17 years at the Bank of Uganda in several capacities, including Director of Research Department, Executive Director responsible for Research and Policy and served as Deputy Governor between 1999 and 2002. He has previously served as a member of the United Nations Group of Eminent Persons for the Least Developed Countries and the World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission.
Currently, Dr Kasekende is a Board Member of the African Export Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), the International Economics Association (IEA) and the Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC), and is a member of the National Steering Committee on Capital Markets Development in Uganda.
Dr Kasekende holds A Bachelor of Arts Degree of Makerere University, Diploma in Econometrics, Masters of Arts and PhD in Econometrics of the University of Manchester. He has authored several articles in academic journals and books.