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How Governor Mutebile predicted his own death

Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile was on Sunday, January 23, 2022 pronounced dead after holding the office of Bank of Uganda Governor for 20 years

Late BOU Governor Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile (File Photo)

Fallen Bank of Uganda Governor Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile predicted and knew only death would take him out of the office. Eventually, this of course came true on Sunday, January 23, when he was pronounced dead at Nairobi hospital in Kenya when he had been admitted battling kidney and diabetes-related complications.

Mutebile in March 2012 shortly after Parliament had indicted him after he paid sh120b to Hassan Bassajjabalaba, said he was angry that some reports had labelled him “thief” yet he had been Governor of the Central Bank for 10 years by then, and was without any blemish whatsoever.

He was speaking for the first time since the presentation of the public accounts committee report to Parliament on the 142b compensation to city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba and after Parliament indicted him. The controversial amounts were awarded to Bassajjabalaba as compensation for the loss of business for the city markets.

Mutebile was indicted for writing “letters of comfort” to four commercial banks that guaranteed Bank of Uganda to repay loan facilities taken by Basajjabalaba’s Haba Group of Companies in expectation of his compensation from the Government.

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Mutebile said, “I can assure you; I am here for the long haul. There is nothing that can take me out of this seat except God. Therefore the market shouldn’t worry about the rulings in Parliament. Tell the markets to remain calm,” Mutebile said.

Mutebile was among the top three government officials who were implicated in the controversial payment by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The report recommended that Mutebile together with Prof. Khiddu Makubuya (Attorney General) and Syda Bbumba (Finance Minister) be fired for their involvement.
The two ministers resigned. But Parliament stood over the committee’s recommendations.

Asked to comment on the MPs demand for his resignation, Mutebile said they should wait for the Cabinet’s subcommittee’s investigations.

While appearing before the committee, Mutebile said half of the money had already been paid out to the banks.

“When the deadline reached, and the Government had not paid Basajjabalaba, the banks demanded their money. The payment was on the understanding that it would be deducted immediately the Government clears the debt,” he said.

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The 71-year-old economist has been at the helm of Bank of Uganda-BoU since 2001 and in January 2021 President Yoweri Museveni re-appointed him as Governor for the next five years pending parliament approval.

At the time Mutebile was weak and sources in the appointments committee described Mutebile as physically weak but mentally sharp.

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

No journalist was allowed anywhere close to the vetting premises by security personnel who had zealously been keeping watch ahead of Mutebile’s arrival.

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

According to Luttamaguzi, Mutebile was questioned about issues of inflation, the economy and his ability to change the image of the Bank of Uganda.

Source: NewVision

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