KAMPALA, UGANDA: The State House has refuted reports making rounds that President Museveni has appointed Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba as the new Bank of Uganda Governor.
Reports over the weekends suggested that Prof. Nuwagaba, an international consultant on economic transformation and a wealth creation expert had been appointed by the President to fill the post that became vacant last year following the death of Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile in January 2022.
However, according to the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Mr Faruk Kirunda, such news is not true and should be treated with all the contempt it deserves.
“FAKE NEWS! It’s not true that Prof. Nuwagaba has been appointed BOU Governor. President Museveni knows his duty and when he makes such an appointment, it will be communicated officially,” Mr Kirunda tweeted on Sunday.
Who is in the race for the job?
Reports DailyExpress could not independently verify claimed that Prof Nuwagaba has been for long lobbying through President Museveni’s friends to replace Mutebile and might have stirred the reports which went viral on the internet purporting his appointment to the position.
Other unverified reports also indicated that the former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Dr Richard Byarugaba was among those vetted for the position of BoU governor.
While other media outlets have often put Stanbic Bank Board Chairman Mr Damoni Kitabire as a frontrunner for the big position.
However, DailyExpress couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of such reports and it remains to be seen when President Museveni, who is entrusted with the appointing authority will make a move to announce the new BoU governor, a vacancy which has created a huge vacuum for unhealthy jostling and intense lobbying for the top job.
Inside sources at the State House told this website that even close associates of the president are unaware of his next move.
“The position of Governor is very sensitive,” said a highly placed State House official when contacted to comment on this matter.
“This is a position that is permanent. You are not appointing an RDC whom you can fire at will. A Governor is a symbol of economic stability. He must be very dependable, knowledgeable, and grounded. This means the President has to be extremely careful when dealing with the vetting process of the Governor of the Central Bank.”
What experts say
Godber Tumushabe, an activist for good governance, says the failure to appoint a governor is bad for the bank’s reputation.
“First, there is the issue of the credibility of the institution. The Central Bank of a country is one of the fundamental pillars of a nation’s economy. That’s also the reason it is one of those institutions that are located in the national constitution,” says Tumushabe.
“The position of governor, the mode of appointment, and the character of the position holder are supposed to speak to the credibility of the institution. Secondly, the CB is envisaged and supposed to be an independent and self-accounting institution. That independence is diminished if the president holds the cards on whether or not or when to appoint the head of that institution,” he adds.
“In fact, if we had a parliament that was worth its position, there is no way the position of governor or Chief Justice could remain vacant or be in an acting position.”