Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Secretaries General of all Political Parties represented in the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) have called upon goverenment to excerise transparency and Accountability as they handle relief distribution in the country.
These including Forum for Democratic Change FDC’s Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Gerald Blacks Siranda of Democratic Party, Mohamed Kateregga Justice Forum Justine Kasule Lumumba National Resistance Movement and Ebil Fred Uganda Peoples Congress say it is importance to maintain a high degree of transparency and accountability inorder to achieve success.
“We call upon the Government of Uganda and specifically the National Taskforce on COVID-19 to enforce strict adherence of all the laws of Uganda especially the laws and regulations governing public procurement and public finance” they wrote in a Saturday 11th statement.
This comes barely a day after the Anti Corruption team arrested officials from the prime Minister’s office allegedly for inflating prices and also for finding relief items in the home of one of them.
The IPOD team hopes that all allegations of misappropriation of funds and/or relief items by any public officers are duly investigated.
“We are concerned that failure to adhere to due process in the investigation and prosecution of suspected offenders may send the wrong signals and negatively affect the morale and commitment of public servants working very hard at the frontline of this struggle” they wrote
They also add that donations and procurement of all food items should be subjected to the scrutiny of the Ministry of Health and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards(UNBS) to ensure quality before they are distributed to the population.
According to the statement, government should also consider issuing price guidelines for all essential items to be procured in this food distribution exercise to guide the process of procurement of goods and services. They say this should eliminate the tendency of procuring relief items at exorbitant prices.
Government instituted a national framework led by Minister Karooro Okurut to oversee the mobilization of resources to support the efforts against COVID-19 led by. Government also set up a COVID 19 fund for people to contribute to the fight and has since received support.
Now IPOD says government should set up similar committees at the district level to help in managing donations at the district level. They say both the district and national committees working on mobilization of resources should report to the Rt. Hon Prime Minister for overall accountability.