Report of the Presidential Tripartite Committee

Dr Louis Kasekende, the former Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor, served Bank of Uganda for about 28 years and 13 of those as Deputy Governor, the second highest position at Uganda Central Bank.

You would have expected a boisterous star-studded send-off with big speeches and champagne-toasting chief executives from the financial services sector and the global multilateral lenders, but none of that happened.

On January 13th 2020, on the eve of his contract expiry, Kasekende handed over his office to Dr Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the Governor in a quiet affair. Earlier that day, it is said that he had quit his official residence to one of his private residences to start his life out of the Central Bank, a place he has spent 28 of his 33 years of work life.

So today, January 15th 2020 BoU staff turned up at work and Dr. Louis Kasekende, was gone. Just gone!

An insider within the Central Bank told this reporter that Kasekende’s unceremonious departure is not surprising and they advanced a number of reasons why.

First of all, the last three years of Kasekende’s 3rd term have been overshadowed by several accusations levelled against him for what some believe is a direct role in the grossly mismanaged closure, takeover and eventual sale of 7 defunct banks- a process that that many legislators aided by the Auditor General found to be riddled with several illegalities and irregularities. But because there was no particular smoking gun found within Kasekende’s quarters, some analysts would rather that Kasekende be held accountable for third party culpability as many of the questionable dealings never bore his direct signature.

But either way, the fallout emanating from the lengthy parliamentary investigations and the report that ensued and the attendant hundreds of media stories that directly mentioned the Deputy Governor, left his reputation badly bruised, according to the insider that he personally had no appetite for a grandiose send-off.

Another school of thought suggests that Kasekende is still hopeful that probably this week, he could still be reappointed, in which case a send-off party would be premature and could send wrong signals that he has given up the fight to regain his job.

“Even on the last day, the man was still hopeful,” said the source.

Another theory, advanced by the Central Bank insider suggested that because there has been an intense rivalry between the Governor and the Deputy Governor, the expiry of Kasekende’s term without a renewal left the parties aligned to the Governor celebrating and not keen on any decent send-off for their bitter rival, while the Kasekende crew was too crestfallen and busy in search of new alliances since their main man, who they believed was on course to become governor had been defeated. 

“Now that Kasekende was defeated and powerless, many of his protégés didn’t want to stand up for him lest they be singled out, now that their man was on his way out,” said the source.

The polarised Kasekende and Mutebile camps, are well documented in the February 2019 report to President Museveni by a tripartite committee appointed by the president to investigate the Governor’s 7th February 2018 decision to fire, hire and or promote a number of staff- a decision that the Kasekende camp said was illegal, prompting them to appeal to the IGG.  The governor also forcefully retired Justine Bagyenda, the infamous former Executive Director Bank Supervision.  

Kasekende’s roles to be reassigned pending new Deputy Governor appointment

Meanwhile another source within the Central Bank to CEO EA Magazine that following Kasekende’s handover on January 13th the Governor was in the process of reassigning his day-to-day duties to another executive till a new Deputy Governor was appointed by his President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

“Right now, the Governor is giving it sometime, because a new Deputy Governor is expected to be announced by the end of this week. However there are still three option- either the president may reappoint Kasekende, or appoint a new Deputy Governor from within the existing senior ranks at BoU. The third option is to appoint an external person,” said the source.

The source added that should this week elapse without the president pronouncing himself on the substantive Deputy Governor, then the Governor would reassign the Deputy Governor’s duties to another person- preferably at the rank of Executive Director.

“The constitution does not provide for the role of Acting Deputy Governor,” said the source, adding: “However the Central Bank is working normally because even when the Deputy Governor has been on trips or leave, his roles have been delegated and executed flawlessly.”

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