KAMPALA, Uganda: The elderly and frail Governor of the Central Bank, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile has reportedly not been going to office as he would because he ‘fears’ to contract the lethal Corona virus.
Mutebile is a sickly old man prone to contracting diseases, notably Corona. Not many years ago, Mutebile was airlifted outside of the country for specialized treatment after developing a health condition which weakened his legs badly.
During the prevalence of that sickness, men would be seen helping to lift Mutebile by the legs as they ushered him into his official bulletproof limousine. During the treatment session, the medical specialists are understood to have seriously warned Mutebile to slow down on imbibing hard liquor because it was taking a toll on his health.
Credibly, the whiskered jolly economist is understood to be observing the advice of the specialists much as he has never thought of letting go of the bottle completely. Mutebile used to be a heavy drinker who ran watering accounts in top bars in town.
His favorite hangouts were Sheraton and Grand Imperial hotel. His most-loved drink was whisky while his preferred drinking partner was a presidential advisor whose love for the bottle defeats description. “The Governor has been exercising a lot of restraint since the second wave of Corona hit the country. He works from home. He does not meet a lot of people nor leave his house unless it is absolutely necessary,” insiders reveal.
This website understands how Mutebile now delegates his deputy and other senior staff of the central bank to carry out assignments meant to be performed by the Governor himself. “He delegates his deputy and other senior staff to do his work, except when the work is extremely complex to be passed on,” insiders confide in this website.
We know the appointing authority is aware of Mutebile’s dilemma and he understands his fears. President Yoweri Museveni ignored critics who felt Mutebile didn’t deserve another term, by returning him as the Central Bank chief.
Those who opposed giving Mutebile another term based their stance on the parliamentary investigation into the closure of commercial banks which faulted the central bank for selling off a number of financial institutions in a dubious manner. Some of the financial institutions were sold by the central bank before they had been thoroughly audited and at amounts much lower than their true value.
Yet others accused the Governor of taking unwise decisions, causing the central bank big problems, some financial in nature. The latest fault included the sale of Crane Bank (CB). The sale caused an uproar in town, attracting the attention of Parliament which caused an investigation into the sale of commercial banks dating years back.
The controversial sale of CB, which was concluded on phone, oh yes, saw heads rolling at the central bank. Dr. Louis Kasekende lost his job as the deputy Governor while Justine Bagenda was fired from her job of supervising financial institutions. Yet the big man, Mutebile, who had even made the blunder of suing the founder of CB, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, kept his job.
BOU filed the case on behalf of CB, which Mutebile had already placed under receivership as well as stripped of its assets, and, by the way, sold off to dfcu, demanding for money which Sudhir had purportedly taken out of the defunct bank.
Justice David Kutosi Wangutusi, the commercial court’s head then, tossed out the case for being a nullity, not worthy of Court’s attention and precious time. The unrepentant Mutebile proceeded to the court of appeal. Three Justices of this appellant court, tossed out the appeal, citing the same reasons advanced by Justice Wangutusi.
By this time, BOU had accumulated legal costs in the region of seventy billion Uganda shillings which the central bank (read the innocent taxpayer) was supposed to pay to Sudhir. Mutebile moved to the Supreme Court which has not pronounced itself on the legality of the matter yet.
Mutebile has been at the helm of the central bank since 2001. He replaced the departed Charles Nyonnyintono Kikonyogo, who had in turn, taken over from the departed Dr. Sulaiman Kiggundu.
The biggest scandal aside from the controversial closure and sale of commercial banks which hit the central bank when Mutebile was the one in charge, came in 2011when politicians raided Bank of Uganda and picked huge sums of cash they supposedly used to buy elections.
Mutebile had spent a decade in charge of the central bank when that forgettable gate-crash took place. The funny money led to inflation of such proportions unseen in the recent past, it prompted Mutebile to own up during an interview with a finance magazine based in London. The other scandal came in the sale of buildings which were housing the Crane Bank to dfcu.
Mutebile conned dfcu, so to speak, since the buildings he sold belongs to Meera Investments, Crane Bank was merely a tenant. The supposed purchaser who had gone ahead and occupied all the floors the Crane Bank main branch occupied on Crane chambers, and some of the buildings which housed the defunct bank’s branches, have since vacated them, or accepted to pay rent to the true landlord, after realizing Mutebile took them for a ride.
Dfcu has since wrote to the central bank demanding a total of forty six billion shillings for the buildings which Mutebile sold, although they weren’t available for sell. Whether the central bank paid dfcu and or the exact money it paid, remains a mystery up to now.
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