Uganda is better because of Mutebile’s contribution- PM Nabbanja

Deceased Bank of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile

What you need to know:

  • Mutebile was admitted to Nairobi Hospital on December 31, 2021, after he collapsed due to complications related to diabetes. He had been in and out of hospital in recent years for the same complications.

Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta and Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja have joined the growing list of people, both within and outside the country to pay tribute to Bank of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile who died Sunday morning from Nairobi hospital where he had been admitted for days.

In her eulogy, Ms Nabbanja said Prof Mutebile’s death is a big loss to Uganda of a great economist who played a key role in stabilizing the country’s economy.

“He was a true professional whose advice was always sound, solid and spot on. Uganda is better because of the contribution of people like Prof Mutebile,” she tweeted.

Prof Mutebile has been serving as Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Uganda since 2001 and was reappointed in 2021 for another term which was expected to end in January 2026.

Mutebile was admitted to Nairobi Hospital on December 31, 2021, after he collapsed due to complications related to diabetes. He had been in and out of hospital in recent years for the same complications.

He died at the age of 72, according to an announcement by Deputy Governor, Micheal Atingi-Ego.

In his message of comfort, President Kenyatta eulogized Mutebile as a reformer whose tenure at the helm of the Bank of Uganda ensured Uganda’s and the region's economic stability and progress.

Governor of the central Bank of Kenya, Dr Patrick Njoroge said "I am deeply saddened by the news of this morning of the passing away of Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile. I interacted with the late Governor on numerous occasions since my joining the Central Bank of Kenya in June 2015. I am particularly grateful for his welcoming me into the community of East African Central Bank Governors, and I cannot forget the many courtesies he extended to me."

According to Rt Rev Johnson Twinomujuni, Bishop of West Ankole Diocese, Prof Mutebile fully used his God-given potential to develop Uganda’s economy.

"Speak of economic prowess, of innate stability, of academic brilliance, of financial expertise, of gallant endurance, here is the man, Prof. Mutebile, ranked among the top. Thank you for living big, for serving broadly, and for fully using your God-given potential to bring the economy of this country to this extent,” he said.

According to Uganda Bankers Association, Prof Mutebile will be remembered for being resolute on no policy reversals at challenging times like 2016 when East African region weighed options including the possibility of adopting interest rate regimes/caps.

"Prof Mutebile stood firm on the path of market determined and driven policy approaches," reads part of the statement signed by the association's chairman Mathias Katamba and the executive director Wilbrod Humphreys Owor.

To renowned journalist and writer, Charles Onyango-Obbo, Professor Mutebile and other reformists at Uganda’s Treasury, made it possible for the country in the 1990s to pull out of Africa’s first truly successful post-cold war reconstruction.

“Disliked by those who were for a parasitic command economy, Emmanuel believed in Ugandan grit. That in a free market, they could engineer a dramatic economic recovery. He was RIGHT,” Mr Onyango-Obbo tweeted.

A seasoned professional economist and reformer, Prof Mutebile spearheaded the design and implementation of the Economic Reform Programme that restored Uganda from the economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s to sound economic performance during his service as the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury in the ministry responsible for finance, planning, and economic development.

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.

Prof Mutebile held Fellowships of the World Bank Institute, and Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He was educated at Makerere University, Durham University, and Oxford University.

He was an Honorary Professor of Makerere University, an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy of Nkumba University, a Companion of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM), and a Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) of Bishop Stuart University. Makerere University honoured him with the establishment of the Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile Chair of Monetary Policy.

Additional reporting by Zadock Amanyisa

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