KAMPALA – Trouble is brewing at Bank of Uganda again after the Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile halted the ongoing exercise to internally fill seven senior positions including two Executive Directors.
The central bank on April 24 internally advertised the positions including two Executive Directors for; Information Technology (EDT) and Operations (EDO) and five Directors for; Non-Bank Financial Institutions (DNBFI), Medical (DM), Human Resources (DHR), Financial Stability (DFS) and Financial Markets (DFM) came up after the holders clocked retirement age.
All applicants submitted their documents by May 22. More than 50 staff reportedly applied for the positions, seen to open career growth for outstanding long serving central bank staff.
But According to insiders, Governor Mutebile has since halted the exercise which had reached the short listing stage, arguing he needed to consult President Museveni on the particular issue and several others including the proposed new law that is aimed at reforming the BoU Act.
However, the governor has gone ahead to appoint some people in acting positions including Mr. Valentine Ojangole as acting Executive Director for banking and appointing Mr. Jacob Opolot as Economic Adviser to the Governor at the level of Executive Director. Ms Joyce Okello had earlier been elevate to Executive Director/Personal Assistant to the Governor in disregard of the central bank’s structure.
“All this has been done without consulting the BOU human resources directorate and staff are disgruntled again,” a source said.
BoU spokesperson Charity Mugumya didn’t respond to our email inquiry.
The latest controversy comes on the backdrop of findings by the committee constituted by President Museveni in February 2019 to investigate allegations surrounding Mr Mutebile’s decision to make sweeping changes last year, which saw some staff controversially demoted and others externally recruited amid allegations that the Governor was promoting favouritism and nepotism.
The report of the committee headed by former COSASE Chairman Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu, released indicated that Mr. Mutebile usurped the duties and responsibilities of the BoU Board of Directors to externally recruit some staff, including Dr. Tumubweine Twinemanzi as Executive Director for Supervision.
Among the other five officials that were externally recruited included Mr Valentine Ojangole, the director for banking, Mr Edward Mugerwa, the director for IT Operations, Ms Kande Sabiiti, the procurement assurance director, and Dr Natamba Bazinzi, as assistant director currency administration.
Of the five, only Mr Ojangole was found to have passed the minimum entry requirements.
The rest were either underqualified or did not have the requisite experience for the said offices.
President Museveni’s committee also had MP Anita Among – Member, MP Michael Tusiime – Member, MP Elijah Okupa – Member, Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza (IGG) – Member, David Makumbi (IG Staff) – Member, Justus Kareebi (IG Staff) – Member, Sarah Birungi (IG Staff) – Committee Secretary, Judy Obitre-Gama (BOU Board) – Member and Keith Muhakanizi (BOU Board) – Member.
Disgruntled BoU had petitioned the Inspector General of Government, alleging that the Governor had acted irregularly by appointing the six new staff from outside the Bank without interviews. They also alleged that two of the externally recruited staff, namely, Dr. Twinemanzi Tumubweine and Ms. Kande Sabiiti lacked the minimum academic requirements for entering the bank. They also said that the appointment of Dr. Tumubweine was premised on nepotism, influence peddling and conflict of interest.
In their report, Mr. Katuntu’s Commitee revealed that while Mr Mutebile argued that the two staff were headhunted, the manner of appointment was flawed.
“… it is apparent that within the context of the multi-faceted decision of 7th February 2018, the Governor exercised authority of the Board alongside executive authority as Governor. This created a complicated situation from corporate governance point of view whereby the Governor made a decision as a Chief Executive and yet also assumed the role of the Board within the same decision. This is because there were aspects of the decision which were attributable to him as a Chief Executive while other aspects of the same decision were attributable to the Board,” the report reads in part.
In addition, the report adds there is also the fact that Article 161(2) of the Constitution only stipulates an upper limit to the number of Directors appointed in addition to the Governor and Deputy Governor and not a lower limit. This number is set at five.
The recommendations of the report are yet to be implemented but internal staff are worried that the governor is making the same old mistakes.
The central bank’s Board of Directors reportedly insisted that the latest positions are competitively filled following last year’s controversy but Mr. Mutebile is said to have sought audience with the President whom he met with the other directors on July 17. The President reportedly asked the BoU board to constitute a tripartite committed to sort the issues.