Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The officer in charge of the Regional Inspectorate of Government, Mbarara region, Siraje Sempagala on Friday told the committee on parliamentary and legal affairs that the acute shortage of staff is affecting the war against corruption in the region.
Sempagala said that the office that is supposed to be manned by 12 technical staff has only six who include three supervisors and three inspectorate officers noting that this has caused a delay in disposing of case files.
He said the office currently has 118 ongoing cases that are being handled by the six staff, noting that each staff is required to handle more than 20 case files.
The regional Inspectorate covers the Ankole subregion which consists of 198 administrative units which include twelve districts, one city, four municipalities, 58 town councils and 123 sub-counties.
He the office also covers the other government entities that are within their area which include health and educational facilities, judiciary, and immigration offices, so with the staff at their disposal, it is impossible to do the work as needed.
Sempagala also decried the little funding given to the regional offices narrating that they receive 10 million on monthly basis, of which 5.5 million is meant for investigations and other travel inland while 2 million is meant for fuel and vehicle servicing, leaving 2.5 for administrative costs. He suggested that at least through experience and sharing with his colleagues, 20 million would be adequate to facilitate operations of regional offices .
The Committee which was led by its Deputy Chairperson and also Bunyole East MP Yusuf Mutembuli said that they are on a fact-finding mission on the operations of the regional offices and later get solutions to the challenges that are faced.
Despite the challenges raised by the Regional Inspector, the committee Members accused the inspectorate of failing to fulfil their mandate.
Terego district Woman MP Rose Obigah accused the IGG of going after small fish and leaving the big fish noting that the cases they always follow and prosecute are small cases citing the issue of Karamoja iron sheets where nobody is yet to be arrested.
She asked the inspectorate to take interest in the procurement procedures that are either making projects expensive or have delayed the commencement of many projects.
In response to failing to arrest and prosecute prominent people (the big fish) implicated in corruption, Steven Okiror the Director of Ombudsman Affairs said that they in most times fail to get evidence to pin them in courts thus making the big fish always slippery.
“You are citing the equation of mobility, I said although the ministers are mentioned by name you will never find them signing or receiving anything so you’re not going to drag them to court because there is no evidence pinning them other than word of mouth.”
Bubulo West MP Christopher Werikhe promised the officials to have their challenge followed up and warned that once their request for staff and more funds is met they needed to do their responsibility to the fullest.