By our reporter
State House: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reportedly warned the Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja over her alleged looming probe into the activities of Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.
In a meeting held at state House last week before going into the Easter holidays, Mr. Museveni is reported to have cautioned Ms. Mulyagonja to go slow on Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile or the country risked an economic crisis. This followed the recent hot letter exchanges between the two powerful personalities over the alleged ‘illegal’ dismissal actions of BoU workers by Governor Mutebile, including Justine Bagyenda, the former director Banks supervision. Mulyagonja in her communication said she wanted to investigate the actions of the BoU Governor on how he made changes without the knowledge of the board of directors at the central bank. However, in his communication, the president is said to have strongly opposed any plans by Mulyagonja to investigate one of Africa’s celebrated economists and longest serving Governor Bank of Uganda to avoid economic catastrophe that Mulyagonja ‘would have no solution for’.
“Please, don’t cause me trouble with the economy. However, much you hate Mutebile, stop these investigations and this shouldn’t be a personal issue between Mutebile and you.” Our spy quoted Museveni at state house last week.
According to sources, the president is reported to have suggested that no more bickering should be displayed in the public between the two sides because of the potentiality of hurting the economy and could easily lead the shilling to further slide against other currencies.
The seemingly ‘kicked below the belt’ Mulyagonja, according to our sources looked very ‘betrayed’ by the bigman and was lost for words for some minutes before she nodded her head in agreement with the president’s instructions. “You see, Muzei speaks politely like he is suggesting, but actually to those who understand diplomatic language, it’s an instruction. So he suggested in his communication, but it’s an instruction Mulyagonja has to stop that nonsense of investigation. Why can’t first investigate how Justine got all that money? Suppose Governor is shielding his Bank from criminality? But secondly, the Governor would now become toothless if IGG over turned his actions, that would be dangerous precedent to other workers at the central Bank” a source who was privy to the meeting in state house added on phone.
The IGG is currently faced with the conundrum as to whether the Bank of Uganda Governor acted within his powers to make administrative changes at the Central Bank, one of which saw the once powerful Justine Bagyenda, the erstwhile Director of Bank Supervision packing. Ms. Bagyenda has since sought the protection of the IGG, who has since reportedly blocked the changes.
“This is to direct the Board of Directors of BoU not to ratify any actions or decisions taken by the Governor on or around February 7, 2018 in relation to the impugned appointments and transfers until such time as the investigation by the Inspectorate has been concluded or until this office directs otherwise”, the IGG’s March 12 letter states in part.
But in his five-paged strongly-worded letter which he copied to among others President Yoweri Museveni, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and finance minister Matia Kasaija, Prof. Mutebile draws the attention of the IGG to Article 162 (2) of the Constitution that guarantees the independence of the BoU from direction of any authority in the country.
‘In performing its functions, the Bank of Uganda shall conform to this Constitution but shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority as per the constitution”, Mutebile quotes Articles in the constitution.
Pundits claim, the whole mother of problems for Bagyenda and Governor Mutebile emanates from among others; the indigenous Crane Bank sale at a giveaway price of UGX 200B to DFCU at the advice of the then director Banks supervisor Justine Bagyenda.
According to documents before court, shareholders of the defunct Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) led by majority shareholder tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia argued that among other miscreant acts, their bank was sold off by the central bank for a paltry Shs200 Billion to DFCU yet its value at the time of takeover by BoU was Shs1.3 trillion. This, according to sources at BoU was arrived at with the ‘guidance’ of Justine being the director Banks supervision, together with the legal team. “The legal team majorly depended on her advice because she was the technical person on the operations of all banks in Uganda” a source said.