The government is driving efforts to bring Keith Muhakanizi’s remains home from Milan, Italy, where he passed away on Thursday night. Muhakanizi was a former Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Considering Muhakanizi’s commitment to and length of service in government, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja assured journalists on Friday that he would have a proper send-off.
“On behalf of the government, I take the honour to inform the country that we have lost the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Prime Minister, Keith Muhakanizi who has been in service for quite some time,” Ms Nabbanja said.
“We are currently engaged in a number of meetings to bring his body back and to give him a decent sendoff,” she added.
It is up to President Museveni to arrange for a formal funeral.
One of the long-serving technocrats in the Museveni administration was Muhakanizi, 64. Before being transferred to the OPM, he spent more than ten years as Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury (PS ST) at the Ministry of Finance.
Since receiving his degree from Makerere University, Muhakanizi, who was the last man standing in the elite league of the late Chris Kassami and late Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, spent decades at the Ministry of Finance.
Muhakanizi was appointed permanent secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) by President Museveni in July 2021.
As a macro-economist and expert in public sector management, Mr. Muhakanizi contributed to the creation of numerous laws, including the Public Finance and Management Act and the Bank of Uganda Act.
He also had a significant impact on revenue mobilization and created commitment control procedures that, for more than ten years at the Ministry of Finance, led the formulation and implementation of economic policies.
As a young economist with a doctorate degree, Muhakanizi worked his way up to the prestigious position of Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, succeeding the late Kassami, who had retired in 2013 and passed away in a Nairobi hospital in 2016.
Muhakanizi served on the boards of a number of organizations. He worked with the many ministries, agencies, and government departments to streamlined accountability and budget discipline. He sat on the BoU board, was chairman of the East African Development Bank, and was chairman of Housing Finance Bank Limited.
In one of his final memos on the iron sheets scandal, Mr. Muhakanizi, a PS in the OPM, a ministry charged with organizing, overseeing, and monitoring government programs and projects, advised subordinates on the proper methods of official communication as outlined in the standing orders (Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021) and the management of public resources.