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Mutebile survives coup at central bank

Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy, Louis Kasekende

Sources tell The Independent that Kasekende, while chairing the Financial Markets Subcommittee meeting the previous day, had faced awkwardness among the staff. Many appeared to hold back.

Talking specifically about the leakages, the Executive Director Administration, Solomon Oketcho, said the confidentiality clause in the regulations of the bank needed to be enforced with penalties against anyone leaking information.

Oketcho reportedly said an earlier planned team-building retreat needed to be prioritised to enhance team building and unity. Reacting to the details of the meeting, some inside the bank, however, said that the intrigue and scheming against each needed to be dealt with directly first.

Several officials agreed and David Kalyango, the Executive Director Finance, said penalising staff for leaking information needs to be mindful that the whistleblower policy allows staff to leak information when they feel that certain things are not going well.

Staff surveys, he added, had showed that staff needed rotations. But now that the rotations had been done, some people are complaining.

The newbie— Tumubwine Twinemanzi, the Executive Director Banking Supervision, also stepped in.  He said leakage of information could be down to people looking for alternative ways of communication because of the breakdown of channels of communication.

Another official said many were concerned that it has become a crime to come toBoU’s seventh floor—where the governor sits—as anyone seen here is seen as looking to report to the governor.

The Independent can authoritatively report that some officials had been stopped from attending certain meetings because they were suspected of “leaking information to the governor”.

But while Oketcho talked penalizing leakers, insiders say,he has not done much to stop leakages within his department.

Trouble for Oketcho is that, following Mutebile’s staff transfers, the first round of leakages to the media came from administration.

They revealed private records of some of those who had been promoted and insiders intimated to The Independent that they felt the officials leaking their records were trying to create the impression that they did not deserve the promotions or transfers.

Given that Oketcho was also opposed to these transfers, many felt that he had not done enough to protect their records.

The meeting ends at 1PM just about time for lunch. An hour after lunch, a rumour starts circulating that something is coming.

Then a staff memo appears. It hits staff emails at 3:45 PM. It reads ‘Office of the Governor’ but it is unusually from the secretary to Deputy Governor, Kasekende.

The Independent has seen the memo which reads: “This morning, EXCOM met to discuss matters that have been the subject of much media reporting, arising from the staff changes I carried out in February 2018”.

It assures staff that a special committee will handle the unresolved issues arising from the said changes. Apart from this, the memo also disparages the article by The Independent of March 30.

The memo reads in part: “Of particular concern to me is the possibility that this article and other similar ones especially on social media are the handiwork of a section of staff who are privy to high level internal discussions, processes and correspondences, and have for reasons best known to themselves chosen to pervert the gist of such discussions to achieve unprincipled aims, played out in the media.

This has grossly called into question the reputation of the Bank, and its top management, and led many in the public to question the Bank’s ability to carry out its mandate.”

That very evening, the same memo is edited and sent out to media houses.

What rattles many inside the bank is that contrary to standard procedure, the article that ends up in the press is also warning staff. For some, it is a sign that the article has been hurriedly edited and sent out. The article’s main intention is to show that there is no fight between the governor, his deputy and some board members.

But the same evening, before the article is even published, reality sets in. The governor’s allies learn of a plot by some board members to walk out on him during the board meeting the following day.

Their reason; the Governor has planned to get his new Executive Director Banking Supervision, Tumubwine Twinemanzi —to speak to them about the Crane Bank case amongst others.

 Boardroom games

So, despite a picture being painted at this table of two men cordially dining, staff at the bank told The Independent that suspicion remains high.

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