What you need to know:
- This is because it is now nearly three months since the Central Bank governor’s job fell vacant following the demise of Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
Despite the position’s influence on the country’s economy, it appears the appointment of a substantive 11th Bank of Uganda (BoU) governor is not on the appointing authority’s priority list, according to analysts.
This is because it is now nearly three months since the Central Bank governor’s job fell vacant following the demise of Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
Mutebile had been at the helm of the bank for 20 years.
The delay to appoint the substantive governor is not helped by the fact that there are no guidelines in the law stipulating when this should happen.
Part IV of the Bank of Uganda Act 2000 states: “There shall be a governor who shall be a person of recognised financial or banking experience and shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Cabinet.”
To resolve the lacuna in the law, some legal experts are now of the view that specific guidelines be developed by Parliament to help the appointing authority act within specific timelines.
“I think there should be some given guidelines to address this situation. And it shouldn’t be difficult. It should just be put in the Bank of Uganda Act,” Mr Wandera Ogalo, a legal consultant, told Daily Monitor yesterday.
He added: “There shouldn’t be such a long time within which a vacancy of such magnitude as a position of a governor goes vacant. All that is needed is a specific guidelines that will compel the appointing authority to fill the position with the required time.”
The constitutional lawyer said as it is now, “you can never tell when the President will deem it necessary to appoint a replacement”. This is because he might be contented with an acting position or the status quo because it saves him from appointing somebody he might eventually not like.
As for the veteran economist and researcher, Dr Lawrence Bategeka, the appointment of a substantive governor is long overdue.
“Somebody must be there to help drive the economy. But it is unfortunate that as we speak now, there is nobody responsible for that,” Dr Bategeka, who is also the former Hoima Municipality legislator, said in an interview yesterday.
Although the current deputy governor is knowledgeable, Dr Bategeka believes that he doesn’t take accountability for whatever goes on in the way a substantive appointment would.
“The position of deputy governor is operational,” he added.
However, the Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, noted that the deputy governor can competently run the affairs of the Central Bank without any qualms until the appropriate person is appointed.
“There is no problem at all with operation of the central bank functions. The deputy governor is in charge – and who knows, the President can decide to have him elevated to that position because as we speak, he is acting by way of discharging the role of the governor,” said Mr Kasaija in an interview yesterday.
He added: “You tell the country there is no danger to the central bank by not having a substantial governor. As we speak there is no vacuum because we have a person discharging the governor’s role and capable of handling everything thing that needs to be handled.”
When Bank of Uganda Board of Directors in March 2020 picked one of the senior directors to perform the duties of the deputy governor, it took just about 24 hours for President Museveni to announce the appointment of Dr Michael Atingi-Ego to fill the position that had earlier been occupied by Dr Louis Kasekende whose five-year tenure came to an end on January 14, 2020.