Atingi-Ego together with the BOU Legal Counsel Margaret Kaggwa Kasule had today appeared before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to respond to the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 introduced by Igara East MP, Michael Mawanda.
The Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda (BoU), Michael Atingi-Ego
has asked parliament for more time to present the institution’s opinion on the
proposed amendments to Article 161
of the Constitution regarding the composition of the Central Bank's board and
with the BOU Legal Counsel Margaret Kaggwa Kasule had today appeared before the
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to respond to the proposed
Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 introduced by Igara East MP, Michael Mawanda.
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The Bill before the
Committee seeks to separate the fusion between the BoU management from the Board
of Directors by proposing to remove the Governor and the Deputy Governor from
being Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively of the board of directors
of the Central Bank.
In his statement to
the Committee last week, MP Mawanda argued that the Central Bank Board needs to
be independent of the management so that it can carry out supervision without interference
and conflict of interest.
“The Object of the Bill is to amend the Constitution
of the Republic of Uganda following the passage of a Parliament Resolution on
28th February, 2019 to remove the Governor and Deputy Governor from being
Chairperson and Deputy chairperson respectively from the board of directors of
the Central Bank; to provide for the functions of the Governor and to provide
for the Governor as the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank; to provide
for the resignation of a member of the board,” a copy of the Bill reads in
Mawanda’s Bill also seeks
to provide for the appointment of the Deputy Governor and limit the term of the
Deputy Governor and the board members to only ten years. Currently,
the Governor, his Deputy, and the board members hold office for a term of five
years but are eligible for reappointment.
The proposed Bill
follows a 2019 report by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities
and State Enterprises (COSASE) on the closure of seven commercial banks. The
report recommended that the Bank of Uganda (BoU) Governor Emmanuel
Tumusiime-Mutebile and his then 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 then chaired by Bugweri County MP
Abdu Katuntu 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.
Interfacing with the
Deputy Governor Atingi-Ego today, Katuntu said that the issue under discussion
was a public matter and that the Central Bank needed to address itself to both
the legal regimes that govern the Central Bank including the Constitution and
the BoU Act.
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According to Katuntu,
the BoU Act should have been amended immediately after the Constitution came
into effect in 1995 so that the current contractions between the two legal
regimes do not surface.
Jacob Oboth, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Committee Chairperson gave BoU officials up to Tuesday next week to present
their position on the Bill.
His committee is this week also set to interface
with the Uganda Bankers Association, Minister of Finance and the Minister of
Justice on the same Bill.