By Ambrose Kweronda
Bank of Uganda longest-serving Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile was on Sunday morning, January 23, 2022, pronounced dead.
Mutebile died in the wee hours on Sunday at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi where he has been on life support.
Mutebile was a Ugandan economist and banker. He was first appointed Central Bank Governor on 1 January 2001 and was re-appointed for a second five-year term on 2 January 2006. In December 2015, he was re-appointed for a fourth five-year term, effective 12 January 2016.
Professor Mutebile attended Kigezi College Butobere for his O-Level studies (grades S1-S4). He then attended Makerere College School in Kampala for his A-Level studies (grades S5-S6). In 1970, he entered Makerere University, where he was elected president of the university Students’ Guild.
He was forced to flee Uganda in 1972 after he gave a speech publicly criticizing the expulsion of Asians from the country by Idi Amin. He fled to England via Tanzania, and was able to finish his studies at Durham University, graduating with an upper-second in Economics and Politics.
In October 1974, he began his post-graduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning to East Africa. He entered the University of Dar es Salaam to lecture and conduct research while pursuing his doctorate in economics.
In 2009, Nkumba University, a private university based in Nkumba near Entebbe, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in recognition of his “great contribution towards the development of Uganda’s financial sector”.
Between the year 1979 and 1984, Tumusiime-Mutebile was appointed to several government positions in Uganda ranging from deputy principal secretary to the president at State House in 1979, to undersecretary in the ministry of planning in 1981 where he rose to senior economist and then chief economist in 1984.
In 1992, he was appointed permanent secretary to the newly combined ministry of finance planning & economic development, a merger that he had advocated while working under Minister of Finance Gerald Ssendaula.
He is the longest-serving chief executive in the Bank of Uganda’s history. He is credited with many of the sound economic policies adopted by the Uganda government at the urging of the central bank during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.
Since 2006, he has been a visiting professor in the Department of Economics at Makerere University, the oldest and largest university in Uganda. Tumusiime-Mutebile was the chancellor of the International University of East Africa, a private university established in 2011, with an urban campus in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.
He worked as a consultant for multilateral and regional organizations including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of East and Central Africa, UK Department for International Development, the North-South Institute in Canada, and for the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Nepal.
He was a member of the High-Level Panel of the UNDP for the production of the Human Development Report of the UNDP; the Management Group for overseeing the evaluation of the implementation of the Comprehensive Development Framework of the World Bank in 2001; and the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons to advise the President of the African Development Bank on the strategic future of the African Development Bank in 2006.
He holds Fellowships of the World Bank Institute, and Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
He was re-appointed for the fifth term as the Governor Bank Of Uganda last year.
Mutebile faced an uphill task and in fights Sudhir Ruparelia and his son Rajiv Ruparelia from after Bank of Uganda closed Crane bank owned by Ruparelia group of companies.
Ms. Justine Bagyenda the then director in charge of commercial banks supervision was forced to retire early because of the saga from Crane bank.
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