President Museveni has directed the Inspector General of Government Justice Irene Mulyagonja to stop public attacks against the Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile.
Mulyagonja recently took to the radio and television stations where she vowed to continue investigating the process of appointing new officials at the Central Bank.
She further threatened to cause the arrest of the Governor, saying the independence of the Bank of Uganda as established under Article 162 of the Constitution is “only guaranteed where the Bank is deemed to be acting in good faith and in accordance with the law, relevant provisions and policies and the principles of natural justice.”
In response, Mutebile assured Mulyagonja that “Bank of Uganda is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority and therefore no outsider, including your office can interfere with the decision of the BoU.”
Realizing the public spat was damaging the integrity of the central Bank, Museveni on Monday met with Mulyagonja and Mutebile at State House Entebbe.
“It’s true, the meeting did take place,” Presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama told ChimpReports on Wednesday morning.
“But I don’t have the details of what transpired in that meeting,” he added.
Officials separately told this news website that Museveni warned Mulyagonja against “attacking the governor in the media.”
He also expressed discomfort with Mulyagonja’s threats to cause Mutebile’s arrest, saying, “This is not good for the institution. Keep this between yourselves. You can’t conduct an investigation in the media.”
The development comes at a time Mutebile is defending the appointment of senior officials at Bank of Uganda.
The new appointees included Dr Twinemanzi Tumubweine, a former Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) official who boasts a PHD in economics and an illustrious career in managing industrial affairs.
He replaced Justine Bagyenda who has since refused to vacate her office and launched a war on Mutebile.
Bagyenda is being investigated for vast accumulation of wealth estimated in billions of shillings.
Leaked private bank accounts show Bagyenda transacted Shs 20bn in a space of 6 years, raising eyebrows. It also emerged she used her mobile money account to transact Shs 500m in three years.
Central banks in most developed nations are institutionally designed to be independent to shield them from short-term political influence when fulfilling their mandate of ensuring price stability.
In his recent letter to the IGG, Mutebile said BoU’s ability to foster price stability and guarantee a robust and sound financial system is founded on the pillars of independence in decision making and reputational integrity.”
However, Bagyenda’s supporters who wrote to the IGG, protested the restructuring of top BoU management, saying the appointments that saw her lose the job were not grounded in law.
The petitioners stated that changes at BoU were done outside the approved BoU HR policy and were influenced by a clique of people who claim to be working for State House to “clean up” the institution.
Mutebile has since dismissed the claims as false and told Mulyagonja that, “Your presumption of “bad faith” as a basis to take over the Board’s role presupposes you have already formed an opinion, which makes an investigation redundant. But more importantly, this presumption of “bad faith” undermines the BoU’s regional integrity.’”