KAMPALA- Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura has admitted to public perception that police officers are corrupt, citing those in the directorates of criminal investigations and intelligence and traffic as the main culprits.
Gen Kayihura has now ordered police officers to declare their wealth to a committee so that the force can track those who are amassing wealth through dubious dealings.
Although it is the duty of the Inspector General of Government through the Leadership Code Act 2002 to demand for wealth declaration, Gen Kayihura said his new orders followed an urgent need to curb corruption.
“Everyone has to declare his (or her) wealth. You, especially officers from the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Directorate and traffic officers, have to tell us where you got the wealth. We don’t have to wait for the IGG,” Gen Kayihura said, at the closure of a capacity building refresher course for more than 500 police cadets at Nakasero Primary School, Kampala.
The Leadership Code Act, 2002 gives the IGG powers to demand senior civil servants and senior politicians to declare their wealth every two years.
Schedule II of the Leadership Code Act Section 25 demands that the “Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, and officer of or above the rank of Inspector of Police” declare their wealth to the IGG.
This means that out of the 43,000 police officers in country, less than 3,000 are supposed to declare their wealth.
Reports by the IGG and Transparency International, have consistently ranked the Uganda Police Force among the most corrupt government institutions in Uganda.
Gen Kayihura instituted a committee dubbed the Police Council Implementation Committee headed by Commissioner Moses Irunga and deputised by Commissioner Herman Owomugisha that is intended to ensure that resolutions to curb corruption are met.
“We have sent out auditors to ensure that corruption is reduced. Part of the team is currently in Lira District to investigate similar allegations,” Gen Kayihura said.
The IGG, Ms Irene Mulyagonja, welcomed the IGP’s idea but said the officers should declare their wealth as per the Leadership Code.
Ms Cissy Kagaba, the Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, said the practice would be good in the police but it isn’t covered by the law.
“There are high chances that the officers will challenge his orders in court because the Leadership Code Act gives only the IGG those power,” Ms Kagaba said.
Declaring wealth has been a sticky issue among civil servants and politicians to an extent a Member of Parliament, Mr Ken Lukyamuzi, was removed from Parliament for failing to declare his wealth on time. However, court later quashed the IGG’s decision.
Recently, Ms Mulyagonja wrote to the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces demanding that all their officers declare their wealth.