CAN THE NEW IGG, BETTY KAMYA WALK WHERE OTHERS HAVE FAILED?
Can the new IGG, Betty Kamya walk where others have failed?
Yesterday, Betty Olive Kamya took oath as the new Inspector General of Government at the State House in Entebbe. She was appointed three months ago taking over from Justice Irene Mulyagonja. The Inspectorate of Government (IG) is an independent institution that was initially established by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) statute in 1988. Following the creation of the Uganda Constitution in 1995, the Inspectorate of Government is now embedded under chapter 13 that prescribes its mandate, functions, and powers.
The IG is charged with the responsibility of eliminating corruption, abuse of authority, and of public office. The powers as enshrined in the Constitution and IG Act include to; investigate or cause investigation, arrest or cause arrest, prosecute or cause prosecution, make orders and give directions during investigations; access and search – enter and inspect premises or property or search a person or bank account or safe deposit box among others.
SecretsKnown however considers the IG under the new leadership to be a case of “new wine in old skin”. Having looked at how the IG has been executing its mandate over the years, it is evident that the institution has narrowed the application of its mandate of combating corruption to other forms of corruption other than political corruption.
Political corruption is a form of corruption that thrives when people in power use their positions or office for self-gain. They exploit the powers and authority that come with the position, engage in bribery, embezzlement, extortion, influence peddling and practice cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage.
The observational trend is that the IG as an institution has for long preferred to play safe and steer clear of handling political corruption. The SecretKnown is because political corruption involves powerful individuals and mafia networks whose influence and connections extend to the highest office -the executive.
These mafia networks operate informally but within formal structures making political corruption more perverse, lethal and out of reach for IG. The architects of political corruption are more powerful than the institutions. This explains why no IGG has attempted to deliberately go after mafia networks behind political corruption. Betty Kamya can’t tread where others have carefully avoided.
Previously, ACFIM engaged the past leadership of the IG with an intention to interest the institution to focus on political corruption by being part of the wider battle against commercialized politics. The plausible argument backed by research made to IG was the nexus between commercial electoral politics and political corruption, and the significance of legislating campaign financing as an antidote to unregulated use of money in electoral politics. Interestingly the leadership then construed this well-meaning initiative to be politically sensitive and preferred not to engage on the matter with ACFIM.
As Betty Kamya takes on the mantle of the institution, ACFIM retaliates her desire to work with the Inspectorate of Government to fight political corruption. The clarion call by the President to Kamya to deal with corruption decisively compels the new IGG to swim in the ocean of sharks and hunt them without her becoming the prey. In the end, Betty Kamya will be faced with two options; either play safe like her predecessors or go ‘bare knuckle’ expecting to get bruised in the process with high possibility of fatalities. The latter will make her the first to walk where others have failed!