Anytime from now, Igara East County Member of Parliament Michael Mawanda will be tabling a proposal in a private member’s bill that will reduce on the powers of Governor Emmanuel Mutebile at Bank of Uganda.
Mawanda notes that as it stands in the BoU act, the Governor reports to himself since he chairs the board that should supervise his work. He says that in case there is a problem in the management of the Central Bank, one can’t run to the board since it is chaired by the same person who heads the bank.
The legislator says the Bill also seeks to ensure that the Governor and board report to an oversight body.
“We hope it can solve all these impasses that have been happening in the bank from the sale of the defunct private banks, infighting among others. For now the board of Governors is reliant on each other and this brings out issues of accountability,” he said.
In the current BoU Act, the Central Bank Governor who is also the most senior officer in the bank also chairs the board of directors and is deputized by the Deputy Governor.
According to Daily Monitor, the draft Bill is ready and Mawanda is only waiting for the Speaker’s green light to table it before parliament.
“He (deputy speaker) asked me to submit it so that he can have a look at the draft. But I expect to get feedback within this week,” he revealed.
On many occasions, Mutebile has been accused of being the root cause of scandals at the central bank.
“There will be scandals one after the other , others will go unreported but they will be there because Mutebile is sleeping yet he is the one running the Central Bank. He only wakes up when more scandals are committed by his officials,” Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality MP said recently.
Last month, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit confirmed that they were carrying out an investigation on the central bank over its procurement and supply chain activities.
“A number of senior bank personnel, customs and Civil Authority personnel are being questioned” with regard to the Bank’s procurement and supply chain activities,” she said in a statement.
Collaborated reports indicated that some top directors at Bank of Uganda were under investigation by police, military and State House Anti-Corruption Unit for illegally printing and smuggling money in the excess of sh90 billions.
In February this year, the Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) under the stewardship of Abdu Katuntu made recommendations in the BoU probe report after months of quizzing BoU top officials over the closure of seven commercial banks.
The report pinned several central bank officials for committing a number of irregularities while going about the closing of the said institutions.
In June, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said that after Parliament adopted the Cosase report, he tasked the central bank to examine the findings and recommendations and make a report showing what actions they would take internally.
He said BoU sent him a report and the ministry was ready to take action.