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MPs Reject Proposal to Limit Term of BoU Deputy Governor

The legal Committee of Parliament has rejected a proposal to have the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda (BoU) serve for a maximum two terms of 10 years while the Governor’s term is unlimited.
Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende before COSASE.

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The legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has rejected a proposal to have the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda (BoU) serve for two terms of 10 years while the Governor’s term is unlimited.    

The proposal is contained in the Constitutional Amendment bill 2020 introduced by Michael Maranga Mawanda the Igara County East MP. The bill seeks to separate the fusion between the Bank of Uganda management from the board of Directors. 

Currently, the Governor, his Deputy, and the board members hold office for a term of five years but are eligible for reappointment, however, the bill seeks to limit the term of the Deputy Governor and the board members to only ten years. 

The bill also seeks to remove the Governor and the Deputy Governor from being chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively of the board of directors of the Central Bank.

Mawanda argues that the board needs to be independent of the management.

The bill also seeks to provide for the chairperson of the board of Directors of the bank, to provide for a member of the board to resign, to provide for Governor as the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank, provide for functions of the Governor, appointment and the functions of the Deputy Governor and other related matters. The bill also proposes a term limit for the board members.  

 

The MPs who are scrutinizing the bill have rejected the clause on the term of office indicating that a term of the deputy governor of the central bank should be a maximum of two terms while the Governor can be re-appointed without a limit.

Mawanda who was appearing before the committee says that the proposal will ensure that there are checks and balances at the central bank.

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Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kiira Municipality MP questioned why there is a difference between the terms of the Governor and his Deputy.

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Jacob Oboth, the Chairperson of the committee questioned why the Deputy Governor should serve only two terms.

Mawanda however told the committee that the suggestion is for continuity, arguing the BoU Governor’s term should be permanent, while his deputy should be changed to ensure there are checks and balances.

The committee also rejected the proposal that the Deputy Governor be removed from the BoU board, leaving only the Governor as a member of the board.

The committee will now meet with the Bank of Uganda as they process the bill.

In 2019, the report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Auditor General’s special audit report on the closure of seven commercial banks in Uganda recommended that the Bank of Uganda (BoU) Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile and his deputy Dr Louis Kasekende be sacked from the Central Bank’s Board of Directors if the institution is to run its operations efficiently in the future.

The committee argued that much as Article 161 (4) provides that the Governor and Deputy Governor shall be Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson respectively, good governance principles would require that the position of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the board is separated from the position of the governor and his deputy.