8 February 2018

Uganda: Bagyenda Replaced By Twinemanzi At BOU

Bank of Uganda executive director for supervision Justine Bagyenda is retiring from the institution after more than three decades.

Her retirement, which was announced yesterday together with other eye-catching reshuffles, comes at the time when her name is still commanding headlines especially about her role in the closure of Crane bank.

Bagyenda has been replaced by Dr Tumubwinee Twinemanzi, who has been serving as the director of industry affairs and content at Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). Twinemanzi has a PhD in economics from University of Texas.

Christine Alupo, outgoing director of communications affairs, confirmed staff re-deployments. Alupo will now serve as the director board affairs.

In an e-mail, Alupo said: "These appointments take immediate effect and involve executive directors, directors and deputy/assistant directors across the bank."

"The changes will enable the bank fill existing internal vacancies and manage transitions arising from pending retirements. This is in line with normal staff deployment procedures at the Bank of Uganda," she said.

The fraud at Crane bank happened while Bagyenda was directly responsible for supervision. Some observers have said she slept on the job, although the closure of the bank went on smoothly with no depositor losing their money.

Some observers have said, the Crane bank saga could have instigated most of the changes in the supervision department that have seen Bagyenda's exit.

"Absolutely that was the trigger," one analyst, a former staff at BOU said. "Broadly, the changes are welcome especially disbanding supervision function."

"They didn't handle it [Crane bank closure] professionally. They had personal interests where they got compromised."

Alupo said "Bank of Uganda remains committed to the recruitment, placement and development of high calibre staff for continued delivery on its mission to foster price stability and a sound financial system."

Writing in the press last year, Mutebile said: "No one in BOU believes that its supervision is perfect and cannot be improved. We will learn from the failure of Crane bank and strengthen our capacities and procedures for supervising banks. If mistakes were made, we will acknowledge this and ensure that they are not repeated in future."

He added: "I strongly reject the allegations that my staff committed collusion or criminal offenses in the supervision of Crane bank, which have been made in some quarters without a shred of evidence to support them."

Bagyenda has acted as short-term IMF consultant for East Africa Missions in the region. She also chaired the Uganda Anti-Money Laundering committee, a national committee affiliated to the regional East and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group.

Also, a new post of the executive director petroleum investment fund has been created at the Central bank. This is mainly in anticipation of the oil production in 2020.

Dr Philip Wabulya has been appointed to serve as its first executive director. Wabulya has worked as executive director of operations at Bank of Uganda. He also served treasury manager of Stanbic bank and the head global markets at Citibank.

The oil fund will be managed by BOU, according to the 2015 Public Financial Management Act. Under section 56 of the Act, the finance minister is responsible for the overall management of the fund.

As at the end of 2016, the petroleum fund held at least Shs 271 billion, according to the auditor general's 2017 report.

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