Current Affairs

Parliament Clears Mutebile, Ochola for new terms in office

“Physically he looks weak but mentally charged,” said Luttamaguzi who is a member of Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

PARLIAMENT, UGANDA: Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and Martin okoth Ochola were on Friday approved by the Parliamentary Vetting Committee for re-appointment in office as Bank of Uganda Governor and Inspector General of Police respectively.

Mutebile, 71, has been at the helm of Bank of Uganda-BoU since 2001 and had his contracted extended by President Yoweri Museveni to another five years in office in January.

The Appointments Committee was chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga at Parliament’s Conference Hall adjacent to the President’s office to vet Mutebile amid tight security.

Sources in the appointments committee described Mutebile as physically weak but mentally sharp.

“Physically he looks weak but mentally charged,” said Luttamaguzi who is a member of Parliament’s Appointments Committee. “There is no question we asked that he failed to answer. He wasn’t wheeled, he was walking through being assisted somehow.”

Luttamaguzi emphasized that Mutebile answered the Committee’s questions very well.

Sources indicate that the committee approved Mutebile’s re-appointment and this makes him one of the longest-serving Governor’s of the Bank of Uganda with two decades of service under his belt and now heading to doing a quarter of a century at the helm of the country’s monetary policy and operations. Previously, Tumusiime Mutebile was Secretary to the Treasury at the time of restructuring the economy, also making him the father of Uganda’s modern fiscal regime.

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The Bank of Uganda Act provides that the Governor and Deputy Governor shall be appointed by the President for a period of five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment. Parliament is yet to address the longstanding anomaly of the governor as head of management also being chairman of the board that supervises him/her!

Meanwhile, the Appointments Committee equally vetted Martins Okoth Ochola who was also re-appointment by President Yoweri Museveni for another term as Inspector General of Police –IGP in December 2020.

Ochola was first appointed as IGP in 2018 after serving as Deputy to Gen. Kale Kayihura and his appointment then was celebrated by the public that had hoped for a change for the better in operations of the police that has for years consistently topped the lists of human rights abuser’s.

But issues of corruption in the force, kidnaps, brutality, torture, human rights abuses and others have since continued to dog the police. According to sources sitting on Parliament’s Appointments Committee, these formed the biggest part of questions by legislators to Ochola, who in turn was profusely apologetic.

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“He told us that he is very sorry about everything especially human rights violations but he was trying to clean the image of the institution,” one of the sources said.

Asked by journalists about the vetting process, Ochola clad in a navy-blue suit and white shirt said it was marvellous and fantastic, before being driven off.  Ochola’s re-appointment was also approved by Parliament.             

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