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IGG shames institutions that don’t comply with the Leadership Code Act

Photo courtesy of igg.go.ug

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has named and shamed the institutions that are complying with the statutory declaration of wealth in line with the Leadership Code Act. The name and shame list, was released early this month (March 2021)

Office of President and Vice President, Permanent Secretaries, Public Service Commission, Parliament, Petroleum Authority, Electricity Regulatory Authority, Ministers, Ministry of Finance and Planning and Auditor Generals’ Office are the best compliant institutions of government.

On the contrary, the least performing institutions are IGG further shames Uganda Tourism Board, Atomic Energy Council, National Library, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, Uganda Cooperative Transport Union, Uganda land Commission as the least compliant institutions.

Declaration of assets and liabilities of public officers and leaders is intended to monitor and expose civil servants whose wealth is not commensurate with their earnings. But the impact of this remains the subject of debate since 2005 when the Leadership Code Act was enacted because its existence notwithstanding, civil servants have continued the trajectory of looting public funds. And they seem to have feasted on COVID-19 money.

According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception index, Uganda ranks 142 out 180 countries surveyed, scoring a paltry with 27 points out of 100. The report reveals that corruption increased at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reasons for the upsurge are numerous but the most likely one is the existential scandals of illicit enrichment surrounding the management of COVID 19 funds. Whereas the lockdowns occasioned by COVID-19 crippled the private sector, public officers in Uganda were reportedly busy erecting building albeit through proxies.

Ms Mariam Wangadya the deputy IGG disclosed to a SecretsKnown investigator that apart from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, members and leaders from opposition political parties have not declared their incomes, assets and liabilities.

She wondered why the educated and learned leaders of political parties were not complying with mandatory wealth declarations under with the Leadership Code Act (as amended). These she said, stand the risk of being prosecuted when the Leadership Code Tribunal comes into force.  

SecretsKnown recognizes that emergent narrative within the public domain that fears the amended Leadership Code Act may be weaponized against leaders of opposition political parties or their supporters.

One of the bottlenecks of the wealth declaration rule in Uganda is that the Inspectorate of Government does not make public what the leaders declare as their assets and liabilities. To this end many of them conceal information which is known within the public domain but which the Inspectorate of Government is not privy to.

Until the declarations are exposed for public scrutiny, the code and tribunal it creates will bear the necessary teeth to crush the big looters. It is also equally important to consider carrying life style audits on civil servants who have made it their business to plunder and loot public funds at the detriment of the ordinary Uganda.

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