ICONIC MUTEBILE; THE WIFE AND THE FATHER IN HIS LIFE!
I have not seen or heard about a mortal man in living memory who has been lavishly praised and applauded across ethnic, political or philosophical divide like the late Prof Dr.Emmanuel Mutebile, the proverbial governor of Bank of Uganda. I do not intend to power cold water over this phenomenal giant of a man but to posit that beside every successful man is a successful woman and this woman is Betty Mutebile; and that behind such a successful figure, are other key influences in his life. I am deeply suspicious that Mutebile’s father who was an ardent member of the East African Revival Fellowship might have had significant impact on his trustworthiness and less interest in accumulation of material wealth. Gleaning from the eulogies, it was clear that the larger than life economic genius who steadied the Ugandan economic ship through turbulent inflationary waters, was a man who never enjoyed good health due to diabetes and high blood pressure for the most part of his tour of duty as Governor Bank of Uganda. In comes the central role of his wife Betty Mutebile Amooti, a Mutooro lady from the royal family of Tooro. Cognizant of the Batooro cultural norms and etiquette fondly referred to as engeso “good manners”, I can fully appreciate how Prof. Mutebile the Mukiga giant of a man, was made comfortable despite his ill health. While medical doctors played a crucial role in the life of Mutebile, the nursing and nutritional care, let alone the “social psychological” support that his wife provided was incomparable. The forty year devotion of a Betty Mutebile to his husband covering the entire life of his twenty one year stewardship of the Bank of Uganda, was reason enough for the success of Governor Mutebile. I was privileged to stay a night at the late Mutebile’s and had an opportunity to witness firsthand the tender love and care of Betty Mutebile towards his husband. Another good opportunity is when as Chancellor of Bishop Stuart University, I hosted Governor Mutebile, when he was awarded an honorary PhD. In the company of Bank of Uganda staff was Betty Mutebile who dutifully cared for the frail Mutebile. She knew best how to keep him alert, smiling and sharp for the benefit of Bank of Uganda and the public. Perhaps Betty Mutebile’s Christian witness as a born again member of All Saints church Kampala may have come in handy in caring for her late husband. As regards Prof Mutebile’s acclaim as an incorruptible, trustworthy and honest political economist, it may not be farfetched to argue that his moral uprightness might have derived from his upbringing. The name Mutebile is a name he picked from his father who was a stalwart member of the East African Revival fellowship. Mutebile the son grew up under the tutelage of his father who was a down to earth chief chef at Kabale Preparatory School. KPS at the time was a hub of British missionaries majority of who embraced the revival fire and characteristic of the brethren at the time was a message of denial of the joys of the world and disdain for materialism. A key verse would be Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven”. Isn’t it possible that by Governor Mutebile telling his wife, “God will provide” when she asked about the house they were to move into, at the end of contract, he was echoing the words of his earthly father who had lived a simple life and had his eyes cast to heaven. Yes, Governor Mutebile was giant in stature, brains and praxis in the economic realm but he was able to achieve largely because of the comfortable zone that his wife provided and perhaps the philosophy of life he was bequeathed by his father.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop Ankole Diocese & Chancellor Bishop Stuart University
Published in the New Vision on 12th February, 2021
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