MP Odonga Joins Battle To Oust Kasekende From BoU, Vows To Protest Contract Renewal

MP Odonga Joins Battle To Oust Kasekende From BoU, Vows To Protest Contract Renewal

By Spy Uganda

As the days for Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor  Louis Kasekende come to an end, several people have started coming out to ensure that his contract is not renewed.

Among them is Aruu County Member of Parliament Odonga Otto, who has threatened to protest if Kasekende’s contract is renewed at Bank of Uganda.

Odonga expressed his threats to protest on twitter when he tweeted thus on Friday; “Dr Kasekende; it’s a national interest that you get the hell out of BoU just like President walked to fight corruption. We notify the police that we will seek a demonstration in Kampala and around BoU in an unlikely event that your contract is renewed. The Cosase report is clear,” the legislator said in a tweet on Friday.

It should be noted that Dr Kasekende’s contract as Deputy Governor at BoU expires on January 13, 2020 and he is doing everything possible, including all sorts of lobbying to ensure it’s renewed.

He recently wrote to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija,  who in turn wrote to the President about renewing Kasekende’s contract but the fountain of honour is yet to pronounce his position about the matter. “I’m still waiting for the president to decide because he is the appointing authority,” Kasaija told the media on Tuesday.

Other sections of the media recently reported that Kasekende tried, but failed to meet President Yoweri Museveni in November to talk about the possibility of extending his contract, after the President rejected all his requests for audience.

Insiders intimate that the President could be still ‘widely consulting’ after it emerged that there are cliques [at the Central Bank, fighting to bring down each other]. The two camps are alleged to be around the Governor and the Deputy Governor.

Analysts contend that by extending Kasendeke’s contract for another five years Mutebile’s camp, whose contract expires in January 2021, would have lost the battle. And this may only worsen matters on Plot 17/19 Kampala Road.

To restore coherence and public trust in the Central bank, sources say, the President may choose to let the two bosses at BoU, go when their terms expire.

The only concern is that firing the two at once threatens to destabilize the already soiled Central Bank even farther.
The BoU is a very sensitive institution with major implications for the economy.

In June this year, Members of Parliament raised concerns over the incessant scandals plaguing BoU following the recent mishap in which a consignment of printed currency flown into the country included extra cargo not on the bank’s documentation. 

The scandal led to State House’s anti corruption kingpin Edith Nakalema move to arrest several bank officers, although their supervisors weren’t booked.

The legislators hinted on the unsatisfactory behaviour of the Bank of Uganda (BoU) in response to a report presented by the State Finance Minister for Planning, David Bahati, noting that not so long ago the Bank was under investigation for erroneously shutting down commercial banks in the country, a drama that played out in broad daylight probe which exposed bank chiefs as incompetent and fraudsters.

Commenting about the illicit cash on the plane, Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) said that there are two conflicting narratives; one of extra cargo on a plane chartered for the exclusive use of BoU, which indicates a breach in contract; the second, that on the chartered plane, there was extra cargo which was also printed currency but not destined for the BoU vault.

Dr Louis Kasekende’s letter to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija

“That second narrative is correct which is criminal and has wide implications on the credibility of our currency and the running of the Bank with the possibility of negatively impacting the economy,” he said.

Katuntu added that what is required at BOU is a structural overhaul because there is a problem.

“As if BoU has not learnt, it falls in the same problem. The other problem is that the Board of Directors does not report to anyone and therefore, they cannot be probed,” he noted, one of the key points noted in the Cosase report to Parliament after the BoU probe.

Katuntu said that there is need to go back to some of the recommendations made on BoU after the probe on illegally closing of commercial banks.

“Things like the Governor being the Board Chairman has to be changed; it means that he reports to himself and dictates how things should be run without being questioned,” Katuntu added.

He said that there are two factions; one for the Governor and the other under the Deputy Governor that are always fighting themselves because of succession.

He added, “The effects of what is going on at BoU is going to affect us all badly.”

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