By Spy Uganda
Dr Louis Kasekende, who was the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, has handed over his office Monday, after the expiry of his contract and refusal by President Yoweri Museveni to renew the same.
Kasekende’s journey as Deputy Governor BoU was slated to end on today January 13, 2020, after getting the second five-year term on January 18, 2010 and he hoped against all hopes that Museveni would renew it, although that has proved a mountain of impossibilities.
It should be noted that Kasekende first served the Central Bank from 1999 until 2002 but rose through the ranks until he was appointed Deputy Governor.
Kasekende alongside his boss Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, have been credited for ensuring that BoU fosters price stability and a sound financial system, something that seems far from being achieved. Together with other institutions, BoU has played a pivotal role as a centre of excellence in upholding macroeconomic stability.
However, Dr Kasekende had his reputation soiled following the Parliamentary probe of BoU on the sale of seven defunct commercial banks, among them Crane Bank, whose closure and liquidation were questioned as the exercise ignored laid down guidelines and procedures.
The affected banks that had Kasekende’s reputation tarnished were; Teefe Trust Bank, International Credit Bank, Greenland Bank, Cooperative Bank, National Bank of Commerce, Global Trust Bank and Crane Bank Limited.
It should be remembered that Kasekende resisted the idea that the Auditor General probes BoU over the closure of the seven banks to the extent that he had to seek legal opinion from the Solicitor General.
However his efforts were fruitless after the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga silenced Kasekende over the matter he thought it was subjudice.
Later in his report, the Auditor General accused Kasekende and other senior officers of BoU of not giving him all the documents needed at the time to carry out proper investigations.
Legislators on Committee on Statutory Agencies and State Enterprises (COSASE) led by Abdul Katuntu later forced Kasekende and others to produce some of the required documents which they thought were confidential, whereas not.
In their recommendations, the COSASE MPs said that Kasekende and Mutebile’s positions as Chairman and Deputy Chairman BoU board weakened the institution’s supervision as they reported to themselves.
A committee appointed by President Museveni to look into the cause of tension within the BoU staff established that there was a clique aligned to Kasekende and the other supporting his boss Mutebile, which the senior staff interviewed said was not good for the institution’s smooth running.
It is said Kasekende wants President Museveni to give him another contract. He is said to be lobbying the Catholic establishment to do this job alongside top gurus in the Ministry of Finance.
However, should Kasekende leave BoU, it will be the beginning of the reorganisation of the institution whose image has been tainted by the recent scandals such as the theft of old currency notes by staff, printing billions of extra currency notes, to mention but a few.
If he leaves, he will leave BoU in dire need of capitalization, as cited by the 2020/21 budget framework paper. BoU has spent billions of taxpayers’ money carelessly as it dealt with MMKAS Advocates, Sebalu & Lule Advocates who court said were conflicted in the BoU versus Ruparelia Group of Companies.
Dr Kasekende’s Profile
Despite relinquishing his office at BoU, Kasekende has had various postings during his career as a banker. For instance, from May 2006 to 2009, he served as Chief Economist of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
As Chief Economist, he was the Bank’s spokesperson on socio-economic and development issues of importance for Africa. He supervised the Development Research Department, the Statistics Department and the African Development Institute.
Between 2002 and 2004, he served as Alternate Executive Director and later as Executive Director at the World Bank for Africa Group 1, including 22 countries mostly from Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining the World Bank, he had worked for 17 years at the Bank of Uganda in several capacities, including Director of Research Department, Executive Director responsible for Research and Policy and served as Deputy Governor between 1999 and 2002.
He previously served as a member of the United Nations Group of Eminent Persons for the Least Developed Countries and the World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission.
Currently, Dr Kasekende is a Board Member of the African Export Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), the International Economics Association (IEA) and the Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC), and is a member of the National Steering Committee on Capital Markets Development in Uganda.