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Unsuitable! Museveni probe queries BoU staff over academic qualifications

Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy Louis Kasekende appear before a parliamentary committee recently. President Museveni has queried the recruitment of staff at the central Bank. (PHOTO,/FILE)
(PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Several staff at Bank of Uganda face an uncertain future after a probe committee revealed that some of them, especially those  recruited by Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile in February this year, lack the requirements to work in the Central Bank.

The committee, which was formed by President Museveni in February following concerns about Mr Mutebile’s sweeping staff changes, indicated that the staff lacked the requirements ranging from academic qualifications to years of experience.

The committee report also pins the Governor on disregarding the existing administration manual at the bank and acting individually in making the appointments which triggered a petition by aggrieved BoU staff to the IGG.

Some of the  senior staff appointed by Mr Mutebile following the February 7 memo  but are a subject of query are Dr Twinemanzi Tumubweine, Executive Director Supervision;  Ms Valentine Ojangole, Director Banking; Mr Edward Mugerwa, Director IT Operations,; Ms Ruth Kande Sabiiti, Procurement Assurance Manager and Dr Natamba Bazinzi, Assistant Director Currency Administration. The aggrieved BoU staff, had in their memo to the IGG, said the appointment of the above staff was irregular and centred on tribal and religious sentiments.

And now in their findings, the committee said they established that while Mr Mutebile explained that these staff were recruited in special circumstances (headhunted), he disregarded

Section 4.3.4.2.1 of the Administration Manual which provides that the Bank shall maintain the minimum requirements for both internal and external recruitment into the Bank as First Class or Upper Second honours degree.
This was by appointing the staff who did not meet the minimum entry requirements.
The report adds that while Dr Tumubweine had the basic academic requirement of a PhD, he lacked experience and had a pass degree.
It was determined from Dr. Tumubweine’s personal file that he holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Texas in Dallas, United States of America (December 2009), a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Texas in Dallas, United States of America(December 2009), a Master of Science Degree in Management and Administrative Sciences from the University of Texas in Dallas, United States of America (May 2004) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Statistics and Applied Economics from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda (January 1996).
“When Dr. Tumubweine’s academic qualifications were considered alongside the prescribed requirements stipulated by policy in the Administration Manual, it was found that his first degree was a pass degree. It therefore fell below the standard requirement of 1st Class and Upper Second Honours and also below the standard set for exceptional circumstances which is Lower Second Honours degree. It is also pertinent to note that Dr. Twinemanzi lacked experience in commercial banking as stipulated in the job description for Executive Director Supervision. There was no mention of any working experience relevant to commercial banking in his personal records at the bank,” the report adds.
For Mr Mugerwa, the Director IT Operations, the report indicates that he is a holder of one degree being a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) in Electrical Engineering obtained from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in 2000. He passed with Upper Second Class Honours and as such fell within the minimum requirements for entering the Bank of Uganda.
However, with regard to the official Bank job description, the report shows that Mr. Mugerwa lacked the minimum requirement of a Masters degree in Computer Science/Engineering, Information Systems/Technology or closely related field. His personal records revealed that he only possessed a Bachelors degree, the report adds.
For Ms Sabiiti, Procurement Assurance Manager, she was found to be a holder of one degree being a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Economics and Political Science) obtained in 1996 from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in 1996. It was determined from her degree transcript that she held a basic pass degree with no honours.
“This was clearly outside the minimum requirement of Upper Second Honours for normal recruitment and that of Lower Second Honours for recruitment under exceptional circumstances,” the report adds.
For Dr Bazinzi, Assistant Director Currency Administration, he was found to hold the following academic qualifications: Doctor of Philosophy (Business Management – Finance) obtained from Moi University in Kenya – 2016; Master of Science (Msc) Accounting and Finance – Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda – 2010 and Bachelor of Business Administration – Makerere University Kampala – 2006.
The committee indicates that Dr. Bazinzi’s academic transcript for his Bachelor’s degree showed that he graduated with Upper Second Honours and therefore met the minimum recruitment requirement for Banking Officers. However, it adds that close analysis of his working experience and the official job description for an Assistant Director Currency revealed a variation.
“Whereas The job description called for at least 5 years working experience in a financial institution with at least 2 years in the management of currency operations or at least two years as Head of Section in Bank of Uganda his personal records revealed no relevant experience in light of the position he was offered,” the report says.
“Bazinzi lacked the working experience of at least five years in a financial institution with at least two years in management of currency operations or at least two years as Head of Section in Bank of Uganda as stipulated in the official Bank Job Reference CD2.01. According to his CV, Natamba Bazinzi’s experience is largely as an academic and a consultant and he had never worked in a financial institution by the time he was recruited into the Bank. This therefore also begged the question as to what the Governor based himself upon to determine that Bazinzi merited recruitment through headhunting,” the report adds.
The report indicates that  while the externally recruited staff all were deemed to have been headhunted, none had had clear evidence to prove that they had been formally approached by the Bank and invited to apply for positions.
For Dr. Bazinzi, the report indicates his personal file showed that he tendered an application for a position in the currency department to the Governor on 18th October 2017.
“According to his testimony he solicited the job and not the other way round,” the report states.
For Dr Tumubweine, the report indicates that there seemed to be persons outside the Bank influencing his appointment.
In Ms. Sabiiti’s case, the report indicates that as much as the Governor claimed to have headhunted her, she stated to the Committee that she had previously submitted an application to the Bank in light of gaps she had identified in procurement and disposal. She then informed the Committee that she had been contacted by the Human Resource Department after the Governor had communicated her appointment on 7th February 2018.
The report states that in all cases the Governor received and unilaterally approved requests from the externally recruited staff to be granted permanent and pensionable status.
“This was in spite of the fact that he claimed that his decision was subject to ratification of the Board of Directors. As much as he made reference to ratification the Board of Directors when appearing, no such reference was evident in the memo of 7th February 2018 and the appointment letters of all the externally recruited staff,” the report adds.
Contrary to the explanation of the Governor, the report states that the procedure that he adopted in the recruitment of five staff from outside the Bank was completely inconsistent with the Bank policy on headhunting and bore no resemblance to any other recruitment process provided in the manual.
All five staff externally recruited by the Governor were therefore recruited outside of the known policies and procedures for recruitment at the Bank.
According to records sampled by the Committee between 2016 and 2018, the following staff were recruited outside of the bank procedures at the corresponding entry ranks: Arthur Butime, Banking Officer II,  Betty Kakyo, Banking Officer II, Maureen Kayesu, Banking Officer II, Shirley Bananura, Banking Officer II, Emmanuel Ssentongo, Banking Officer II, Peace Karungi, Banking Officer II, Sam Taremwa, Banking Officer II, Tricia Nsiime, Banking Officer II, Doreen Namara, Banking Officer II and Jonathan Mwesigwa, Banking Officer II.
In summary the Governor’s decision of 7th February 2018 as analyzed above went against the spirit of the Recruitment Policy of the Bank as provided under Section 4.2 of the Administration Manual and more specifically Sections 4.2.1, 4.2.2 and 4.2.3.

The decision of the Governor of 7th February 2018 was inconsistent with the law and policies and more specifically the Human Resource Policy as enshrined in the Bank of Uganda Administration Manual of October 2015. He undertook changes at the Bank which changes ordinarily ought to have been subjected to various procedures in the name of due diligence and accountability. However, in all cases procedures were not followed.

“The Governor may indeed exercise authority as Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Board at the Bank but this authority is not exercised in a vacuum. The authority must always be exercised within the parameters of the law and the policies governing Bank of Uganda. As much as the Governor’s decision was intended to correct institutional problems as he stated to the Committee, it was also evident that the approach the Governor used to handle the problems only served to exacerbate the already prevalent issues at the Bank.

The risk behind disregarding procedures is that it introduces an element of uncertainty about staff about the relevance of processes and leads to suspicion about human resource related decisions being based on factors such as tribe or religion rather than merit,” the report adds.

 

Continues tomorrow…..

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