By Kagenyi Lukka
A story is told that at the highest floor at Bank of Uganda head offices in Kampala, battle lines have been drawn between the left wing and the right wing.
On the right, is the office of Central Bank Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, and on the left in his deputy, Dr. Louis Kasekende.
The guards are under strict rules from both Mutebile and Kasekende not to allow anybody to cross from one of the two offices to another.
The paralysis is too deep that when a visitor, who is known to be frequenting one office, changes the loyalty and asks the security guards to cross to the other office, he or she is told not to bother. No access!
The above scenario is the true microcosm of what is happening at the central bank as the power struggle between Mutebile and Kasekende ranges on.
In fact, insider say, it has also turned tribal, as Mutebile intensifies the recruitment and promotion of men and women from his Bakiga backyard wile Kasekende, on the other hand, clandestinely crystalizes the Banganda ring from his tribe.
This tribal war and battle for jobs at the central bank has also been captured by the Presidential Tripartite Committee report, which was conducted by a group of people, appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to probe these allegations at the country’s top bank.
The Presidential Tripartite Committee report was in response to allegations surrounding a decision taken by Mutebile last year in February to transfer, promote and recruit staff.
Some central bank staff described the changes by Mutebile as irregular, alleging that six new staff were appointed from outside the bank confines without interviews, newly appointed staff were granted permanent and pensionable terms contrary to probationary policy.
They singled out Dr. Twinemanzi Tumubweine and Ruth Kande Sabiiti as some of the staff that Mutebile recruited yet they lacked the minimum academic requirements.
Dr. Natamba Bazinzi, the assistant director currency administration, the staff said, was also recruited without following proper procedures.
The presidential report also indicated that majority of the senior staff members were embroiled in cliques, risking the central bank of divisions along tribe and religion.
In fact, the report revealed that Catholics/Baganda and Protestants/Bakinga each have their own groups and hold clandestine meetings, a move that has polarized the work of the bank.
The report further notes that staff: Joyce Lanyero Okello, Executive Director/Personal Assistant to Governor; Charity Balaba Mugumya, Director Communications Department; Hannington Wasswa, Director Commercial banking Department; Vito Melvin Semakula, Assistant Director IT Security and Compliance, James Mbanda Byamukama, Assistant Director IT Operations; Gimei Katongole Kaliisa, Assistant Director Operations Accounts Department; Alan Norman Lwetabe, Assistant Director Reserves and Investment, Financial Markets Department; Cynthia Nakayiza, Assistant Director Operations banking Department, Sophia Kironde Iwumbe, Assistant Director On-site Inspection Commercial banking Department; Oscar Kiiza, Assistant Director Pension Administration and Financial Reporting; Bosco Bainamazima, Assistant Director BoU Fort Portal Branch; and Francis Kakeeto, Assistant Director BoU Mbale Branch were promoted without cause.
“It was also established that staff had been promoted without going through any form of interview,” the report noted.
It is therefore timely for anyone who cares about the future of the central bank to at least act and control these tribal tendencies, which if not, tamed might risk the economic standing of the country.
The writer is a current affairs analyst and aspiring MP Ikiiki County Budaka District.