Kampala- Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile has said he was misled by the government into indirectly financing electioneering activities in 2011, an action which plunged the country’s economy into chaos.
While addressing the 10th annual meeting of the African Science Academies at the Lake Victoria Serena Hotel on Tuesday morning, Mr Mutebile said although the Central Bank did not directly print money for the elections, there were indirect expenditures by the government into areas that were not transparent.
“I can assure you that the Central Bank did not directly print this money but where government expenditure is directed to areas that are not completely transparent, I cannot determine how much of the money I have created ended up in political electioneering,” he said.
The governor’s comments came after participants at the conference asked him to explain why the country suffered unprecedented inflation levels in 2011 just after the general elections. Mr Mutebile said the money was passed on to government through treasury bills but vowed that he would never do this again.
“You should remember that the economy of this country was thrown into total chaos after the last elections allegedly because central bank had printed a lot of money to finance the elections,” he said.
He added: “I was there as central bank governor. I didn’t participate whatsoever but because there was some spending by government dependent on treasury bills which I was issuing, “I was financing government indirectly. But since we understood that, we have never done it again and I will not do it this time.”
He quickly added that, “I have never accepted an order from President Museveni where that order was inconsistent with my duties. Never!”
Deputy NRM party spokesman Ofwono Opondo questioned the governor’s sense of professionalism and also asks if he was placed at gunpoint to accept to do what he knew was wrong.
He also said Mr Mutebile could not have funded NRM because it is not a company that can buy treasury bills.
Mr Opondo, who is also the Media Centre executive director, said: “He should not shift his incompetence to NRM or government as a whole. What I know is that the elections were funded by government 100 per cent and it was through a process of budgeting.”