A last-ditch attempt to have Dr Adam Mugume,the BoU Director of Research, take over as the Deputy Governor was nipped in the bud at the last minute by President Museveni.
On Friday,the BoU board convened a hastily arranged meeting following the hospitalisation of Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
High on the agenda was discussion on how the central bank would continue to smoothly operate in the absence of both the Governor and Deputy Governor.
The Deputy Governor’s position has been vacant since Louis Kasekende disgracefully retired in February following a scandal-ridden tenure.
At the Friday meeting,James Kahooza,a board member controversially took over the Chairman’s role.
The BoU Act states that the Governor & Deputy Governor are the Chairman & Vice-Chairman of the BoU Board, respectively.
It was, therefore, irregular for Kahooza to chair the meeting.
During the meeting, Kahooza nominated the name of Dr Mugume for the position of Acting Deputy Governor.
It was approved.
Mugume’s appointment sent jitters at the central bank and the larger banking industry as he is part of the inner circle of Kasekende.
A top bank CEO told this website on Friday that the Uganda Bankers Association(UBA),a body that brings together all the commercial banks in the country,was not amused with Mugume’s appointment.
UBA was planning to confidentially petition President Museveni raising red flags over Mugume’s appointment.
Sources familiar with the jockeying for positions at the central bank say that by naming Mugume Acting Deputy Governor on Friday,the BoU Board hoped it would “tie the President’s hands”, and leave him with no option but to retain him.
President Museveni is said to have been furious with Mugume’s appointment, which was done without his knowledge.
To definitely deal with the matter, President Museveni on Sunday announced that he had appointed Dr Michael Atingo-Ego as Deputy Governor.
“Unfortunately for the Kasekende cartel,the Friday appointment seems to have been too little,too late,”a top banker, speaking anonymously,said of the latest developments.
Dr Atingo has previously worked at BoU but left the bank in protest of Kasekende’s work methods.
After leaving BoU,he joined the International Monetary Fund(IMF).
Dr Atingo was also a victim of the toxic battle for control at the Central Bank and him being a Catholic, sharing a religion with Kasekende,did not help his case as he had be edged out in order for Kasekende to assume the position of Deputy Governor.