Civil servants demand IGG protection to expose graft 

Ms Beti Kamya, the Inspector General of Government

What you need to know:

  • Shs10trillion: Estimated amount of money the country loses every year to graft, according to the IGG.

Civil servants have vowed to fight and expose corrupt officials unless they are assured of protection from the Inspector General of Government (IGG) .

The public servants told the  IGG, Ms Betty Kamya, in a meeting in Kampala yesterday that it was difficult for them as workers in lower ranks to hold their bosses accountable because of the power they yield.

“Our bosses hold so much power, so in case they are doing something that is not right, you cannot confront them for fear of losing your job, so we ask the IGG to ensure that people who report corruption are fully protected,” Mr Moses Okia, a civil servant, said.

Ms Kamya was meeting middle and lower-ranked staff of ministries, departments and agencies on how they can partner with the inspectorate to eliminate corruption.

Ms Anne Nakaliga, another civil servant, tasked the IGG to assure them of safety in case they are victimised.

“Once a civil servant is sure that they will be protected from victimisation by the culprits, then they will be free to report corruption cases,” Ms Nakaliga said.

While responding to their concerns, Ms Kamya said middle or lower-level servants are vulnerable to corruption because they are given orders, some of which are illegitimate.

“When we go to investigate, they are the ones that we charge because they have signed on documents, they take the money to the bosses and the bosses don’t sign for it, so they are the ones we arrest and arraign before the court,” Ms Kamya said.

She added: “We encourage them to put these orders in writing but they say it is hard to ask their bosses to do so because they get victimised. We are going to strengthen the systems so that in the accountability structure, instructions should always be in writing by the rightful authority.”

Ms Kamya said it’s the only way they can shrink the space of corruption since most cases happen in civil service, and that’s why they are focusing on it.

According to the Ombudsman, anyone can contribute to the war against corruption and will be protected.

“You might get victimised when you become a whistleblower, you may fear to make your boss accountable, but if we all rise and become empowered, the corrupt will fear,” Ms Kamya said.

She added: “You can use our WhatsApp number to send information and remain anonymous. We are soon establishing a call centre and other forms of communication that will be used for whistleblowing.”

Ms Kamya said they had changed the strategy to fight corruption which included recruiting all Ugandans to join the campaign.

People reporting corruption are protected under the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2010.

A person may disclose information where they reasonably believe that the information tends to show that a corrupt, criminal or other unlawful act has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed.