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Speaker Among urges IGG to probe private sector corruption

IGG Kamya presemts the bi-annual performance reports (Jan-June 2021 and July-Dec 2021) to the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among wants the Inspectorate of Government (IG) to be given the mandate to investigate corruption under the private sector.

Among made the statement while meeting officials from the IG led by the Inspector General of Government, Beti Kamya, who on Thursday submitted to Parliament their 2021 performance report.

The Constitution under Chapter 13, Article 225 mandates the IG to investigate cases of corruption, abuse of office and others. The jurisdiction of the Inspectorate of Government covers officers or leaders mainly employed in the public service, and also institutions, organizations or enterprises as Parliament may prescribe by law.

“It is noted that the mandate of IGG focuses on two things: elimination of corruption as well as the abuse of office in public offices. It is so absurd that it limits to public offices and yet you find that most of the money that is gotten from public offices is taken by private offices. So, it limits corruption to strictly public offices,” said Speaker Among.

She said that there is a need for a constitutional amendment to ensure that the mandate of the IGG is widened to ensure that private sector investigations are also carried out.

Recently, the Inspectorate of Government together with the Governance Transparency Institute conducted a study on the cost of corruption in Uganda and revealed that the estimated cost of corruption per year is 9.144 trillion Shillings.

Among described this as absurd and called for the amendment of the constitution to ensure that it does not limit the IG to only the public sector.

She added that it is also baffling that the abuse of office has moved to almost all institutions including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and yet they have just been left outside.

The Speaker said that parliament will do whatever  is required to ensure that they protect government funds being siphoned to the private sector.

The Speaker emphasized: “You should be able to push your hand into the private sector where government money has gone. We also want you to ensure that the cases that are before you are taken to court as fast as possible. Don’t hold cases, ensure that you prosecute these people.”

Speaking about the Inspectorate’s annual budget, Among said that while parliament gave the IG additional resources of 11.63 billion Shillings in the current financial year 2022/2023, appointments and recruitments in a bid to help the inspectorate have not been done because the money is limited.

Before the current financial year budget, the IG budget for the past four years had stagnated at 53 billion Shillings. Currently, the budget stands at 79 billion Shillings.

Among said that in the next financial year, parliament will further ensure increase of money that goes to the IG and also be able to follow the release of the funds.

“There is an allocation vis-à-vis the release as you can allocate an institution 10 billion Shillings but what is released is 1 billion, so as an institution, since you report to parliament, we are going to make sure that we follow up,” Among gave assurance.

In response, IGG Beti Kamya said that it was important to know that parliament is going to come out and assume its responsibility to ensure that the IG which is an independent body, is given mandate to come up with its own budget.

“Our prayer is that parliament continues to assume its responsibility under Article 229 (1) of the Constitution which provides that the IG shall have an independent budget appropriated by parliament and controlled by the IG,” said Kamya. “Currently, the practice is for the budget of the IG to be determined by the Executive and presented to parliament for appropriation.”

She said that the direct appropriation by parliament will enhance the spirit of the Constitution which provides that the IG shall be independent in the performance of its functions and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority and shall be responsible to parliament.



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