Mutebile’s 20 Years at BOU Helm End as He Goes to Meet His Creator

Uganda’s long serving Central Bank governor, Prof Emmanuel Mutebile, was declared dead on Sunday morning. The death announcement meant Mutebile’s two decades at the helm of country’s Central Bank had come to an end in a somber mood.

In the 20 years plus, when Mutebile has been in charge, he will be remembered for both good and bad. But one significant thing Mutebile is credited for is ensuring Ugandan currency did not lose value against foreign exchange.

In 2012, the Uganda shilling tremendously staggered against the US dollar and other foreign exchange. But Mutebile using his economic expertise did all whatever was within his means including ordering government on certain aspects until the shilling regained ground.

There was a time Mutebile threatened to authorize the printing of a 100,000-shilling note if the currency did not regain against foreign exchanges within six months. Even though Mutebile was an economic magnum, he is remembered for speaking arrogantly towards MPs when he informed them that their views did not matter and he could only lose his seat upon God’s calling.

In 2019, Mutebile was again in trouble when more than 90 billion shillings extra was brought on a plane that was carrying the Central Bank money. To date, no one knows where the money ended or who was the recipient of the extra notes in such huge amount.


Uganda’s bigwigs have eulogized Mutebile as a person who had the country at heart. Among them is reigning and former prime ministers Robinah Nabbanja and Dr Ruhakana Rugunda as well information minister Chris Baryomunsi and Dr Elly Karuhanga.

Nabbanja said Mutebile was a philanthropist while Rugunda described him as visionary leader from the time they were together at Makerere University. Dr Karuhanga recalls that in the hey days of Amin, political activities were banned save Makerere University.

Karuhanga and Mutebile vied for Guild President and they were provided with Open roof cars in motorcades to drive around the Compass and Kampala city. It was clear that the student leadership battle was between the two students.

“At the time, it was a campaign that it was. It was a two-man horse race. It divided the country and It was alleged that he was he was a Socialist and Pro-Obote and I to be a Monarchist/Capitalist. None of these were favored by Amin and on the day of elections he expelled Asians. I lost all my Capitalist Asian supporters. We were hosted on TV in live Presidential Debates,” Karuhanga said in his long post shared on social media.

According to Karuhanga, the duo made front page headlines of Kenya, Tanzania and Ugandan newspapers. Karuhanga adds that Ruhakana Rugunda, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Peter Kabatsi, HE Amb Moses Sebunya were in Mutebile camp while Prof. Ali Mazurui, Sam Kutesa, Abu Mayanja, Hon Tim Lwanga and Rt. Rev. & Rt. Hon. Baron Sentamu were in Karuhanga’s camp.