Who is Keith Muhakanizi?: We shall look at his biography, age, family, wife, controversy, work and experience, political career, early life, and education of the current Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance.
Keith Muhakanizi is a Ugandan Economist, current Permanent Secretary, and Secretary to the Treasury, at the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development.
Muhakanizi has been instrumental in Macroeconomics policy and planning, financial sector growth, and private sector growth in the country and has served in various departments at the Ministry for years.
Muhakanizi has and still serves as a member on the Boards of numerous organizations. In addition to being the chairperson of the EPRC Board of Management, he served as the Chairman of the East African Development Bank since May 25, 2013.
Early Life and Education
Keith Muhakanizi was born in Rukungiri District to the late Rev. Kosia Kajwengye and the late Zeridah Kajwengye. He was born to a family of 7 children, 4 boys, and 3 girls.
Muhakanizi’s mother was a very kind and ardent religious woman while his father Kajwengye pioneered evangelism in Rujumbura that later spread throughout the whole of East Africa.
In addition, they also taught families about the cleanliness of their families and personal hygiene, built schools, and health centers as well as pioneered the best methods of farming in the region.
Talking about his parents, Muhakanizi said his parents did not get formal education but were very intelligent and were like degree holders.
His late father was the only one who studied up to primary four and was able to serve as a headteacher of a primary school for many years before joining church ministry.
While his mother was an illiterate woman, she did not attend any classroom. The only education she achieved was the mother’s union lectures, but she was an exemplary leader in their family.
Work and Experience
Keith Muhakanizi is the current Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance. He took over office from Chris Kassami.
Mr Keith Muhakanizi is both an ardent Development and Macro- Economist, and a Public Sector Management Specialist with thirty-eight years of experience in Government, rising from an Economist to his present position as Permanent Secretary to the Treasury at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Republic of Uganda.
In the 1990s, he played a central role in the formulation and implementation of economic reforms that restored the macroeconomic stability of Uganda’s economy.
Muhakanizi guided both the technical and policy development work in the preparation of successive National Development Plans.
More policy reforms and enhancing public financial management to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public resource use to promote enhanced domestic resource mobilization.
Muhakanizi, who has been at the Ministry for more than a decade has been instrumental in designing major policy changes along with Chris Kassami.
Muhakanizi is also a board chairman of the National Housing and Construction Company and a member of numerous other boards.
Muhakanizi serves as a Board Member, Bank of Uganda and Chairperson of Housing Finance Bank Limited, Uganda.
Muhakanizi is the Chairperson/Ex-official Member of the EPRC Board of Management. He’s a former Director of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and former Deputy Secretary of Treasury at the Finance Ministry.
Keith Muhakanizi besides receiving credits for his contribution towards Uganda’s economic growth figures over the years, he’s had well-received criticism for the bloated public expenditure and numerous supplementary budgets.
Muhakanizi and Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija was in 2017 named in the imported rice scandal. The two were accused of being behind a decision to exempt taxes on imported unprocessed rice to benefit from the directive.
Muhakanizi also had a fight with Hon Evelyn Anite, State Minister for Privatization and Investment in 2019 during the Uganda Telecom (UTL) recapitalization process which resulted in a scandal. During this time government was searching for a suitable investor to take over UTL which was already struggling.
So, Anite and Muhakanizi had a fight on whom to audit the company as directed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Muhakanizi mentioned that they as the Ministry of Finance could not allow the company to be audited by someone appointed by Anite.
This was after President Museveni directed Anite on July 16 2019 asking her to cause an audit into UTL to enable the government to confirm or clarify the allegations about the mess at the telecom company.
This caused a standoff between Anite and Muhakanizi about whether to audit the company or not.
However, later on, the civil division of the High Court gave a green light to the Auditor General to conduct the audit.
According to Muhakanizi, his stand was that the government through Anite should not appoint their auditor but not against the audit as alleged.
In 2016, Muhakanizi was involved in a land-grabbing scandal. He was accused by over 100 Lyantonde farmers who he had evicted out of the land in Lwamayongwe Seeta and Kasamba, Lyantonde District.
The alleged piece of land measuring 500 hectares.
Net worth on the USE: $248,737
Holdings: 0.2-percent stake in DFCU