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MPs task Minister Lokodo over delayed appointment of substantive IGG

Jacob Oboth, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chairperson asked Minister Lokodo why he had not proposed names for a new IGG to the President. 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament have expressed concern over the continued absence of a substantive Inspector General of Government – IGG.

This was during a meeting between the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and Minister of State for Ethics & Integrity Simon Lokodo who had appeared to defend the proposed Leadership Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Jacob Oboth, the Committee chairperson asked why the Minister had not proposed names for a new IGG to the President. The office of the IGG fell vacant on July 5, 2020, following the expiry of the contract of Justice Irene Mulyagonja after serving for eight years. She was immediately appointed to the Court of Appeal.

The Committee also learnt that the contracts of the remaining two deputies are also close to expiry. According to Minister Lokodo, the contract of Deputy IGG George Bamugemereire expires in two weeks while that of Mariam Wangandya expires in four months.

Lokodo told MPs that he has already addressed President Yoweri Museveni about the leadership gap at the Inspectorate of Government- IG.

Oboth says that the absence of a substantive IGG has already created a leadership gap at the Inspectorate of Government and expressed worry of a crisis once the two deputies also leave the office.

He said that failure to make appointments in time causes some paralysis in administration and ultimately the fight against corruption.

For the past months, sections of the public have pushed for the appointment of a new IGG as a sign of the government’s commitment to the fight against corruption.

Since Justice Mulyagonja left office, her two deputies Bamugemereire and Wangadya remained in office amidst concerns that there are certain things they can’t do in the absence of the IGG.

The function, mandate and authority of the IG are provided for in Chapter 13 of the Constitution. The Constitution provides that the IG shall comprise of the IGG and two deputies appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament. It also states that one of the appointees shall be a person qualified to be appointed a judge of the High Court.

In the absence of a substantive IGG, the two deputies in the office can’t sign charge sheets which require the consent of the IGG and currently, all charge sheets are forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) who has powers to prosecute. The Inspectorate only carries out investigations and submits the papers to the DPP for approval.

Early this month, Bamugemereire reported to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga that even the Appointment Board of the IG which is supposed to be chaired by the IGG is dysfunctional. The entity however continues to carry out investigations, analyse cases, issue reports, directives and orders.

Bamugemereire then said that although he and Wandadya are competent to run the office, their hands are tied and it’s only the intervention of the legislature through amendment of the law that can help. He recommended a need to amend the law to eliminate the need to always have 3 members of the Inspectorate including the IGG and the 2 deputies for the Inspectorate, to be deemed constituted.

According to Bamugemereire, the current requirement under the law is not realistic.

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