The Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister and former Head of Treasury Keith Muhakanazi has died.
Muhakanizi died in Italy where he had been flown for further management following a stint with illness.
According to close sources, Muhakanizi has been in and out of office since 2021 owing to sickness. Indeed, even when he was posted to the OPM from Treasury, the technocrat was away in Turkey receiving treatment.
The government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo confirmed Muhakanizi’s passing, eulogizing him as a “friend to many”.
“SAD! A friend to many. Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary Prime Minister’s Office, and former long-serving PS Ministry of Finance & Secretary to the Treasury has died in a Milan, Italy hospital where he was receiving treatment. May he Rest in Peace.”
Muhakanizi shot to prominence for his long stewardship of the Finance docket.
He was a no-nonsense manager who often stared at his supervisors in parliament when defending government budgets and expenditures they deemed to be too high. Muhakanizi often defended the budgets quipping that the rationale was beyond some of the outraged legislators.
He worked in tandem with BoU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile to pivot the Ugandan economy from a socialist leaning towards a capitalist system and together they are credited for restoring foreign investor confidence in the Ugandan economy with their policies and management styles that chimed with World Bank and IMF recommendations. This included steadily withdrawing the government from the business and encouraging private enterprise.
Critics, however, argue that the little-to-no-hand approach in vital sectors of the economy like medical care, power, and education was ultimately responsible for creating a rapacious private class that put profit before the public good.
Source: Nile Post