Muhakanizi hailed for Uganda’s economic development

The former Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, late Keith Muhakanizi has been hailed by Parliament for his dedication to the economic restoration and transformation of Uganda.

The House held a special sitting in honour of Muhakanizi on Wednesday, 26 April 2023.

Muhakanizi died on Thursday, 13 April 2023 in Milan Italy where he had been receiving treatment for cancer.

The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa said Muhakanizi was open-minded, decisive, direct and was never afraid to speak his mind on matters regarding the development of the country.

Tayebwa said Muhakanizi was always willing to challenge Parliament especially when MPs were in intent on increasing budget allocations.
“His contributions towards sturdy macro-economic policies cannot be forgotten because they left an indelible mark on the transformation of the economy,” he added.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga said he had great respect for Muhakanizi as a seasoned economist whose name was pronounced in most aspects of economic policy of the country.
“Because of his straightforwardness, this country has lost, probably the last brakes or controls on the vehicle called irresponsible budgeting and I surely hope his successors adopt stronger controls,” he said.

Mpuuga added that he was an uncompromising high priest of the neo-liberal Washington consensus advancing neo-liberal economic policies and together with the late Chris Kasami and Emmanuel Mutebile, their dogmatic principles could be envisaged in the recovery of the economy from its position in in the early 1980s.

The Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija said that Muhakanizi had extreme passion for economic recovery and performance that even after his transfer to the Office of the Prime Minister, he often made visits to the Ministry of Finance.
“We shall find a way of documenting his work for continuity and prosperity,” he added.

Rukungiri Woman MP, Hon. Midius Natukunda said that Muhakanizi took his bid of economic transformation down to the grassroots by overseeing the establishment of Buyanja SACCO in Rukungiri.

Natukunda said Muhakanizi attended as many meetings, provided financial assistance and helped equip the SACCO as well as many other educational facilities within the district of Rukungiri where his family hailed.

Hon. Elijah Okupa (Indep., Kasilo County) said that Muhakanizi made it his lifelong dedication to put Uganda out there and see it benefit from global economic reforms.  
“Keith was a resourceful person on economic affairs and his absence was always felt if we attended a meeting out of the country on matters related to finance and economics,” he added.

Pakwach District Woman MP, Hon. Jane Pacuto said Muhakanizi always preached better management of public expenditure as an economic reform and detested creation of administrative units because he believed it was counterproductive to economic transformation.

Muhakanizi served as a career economist, Director Budget and Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, a position he held at his time of death.

Muhakanizi initiated several financial and economic reforms including the use of Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and creating a Treasury Single Account, decentralisation of the government payroll, improving budget formulation and integration by use of the Output Budget Tool.