Clean up your house, Museveni tells IGG

Friday September 24 2021
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President Museveni. PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY

By Elizabeth Kamurungi

President Museveni on Wednesday ordered the new team at the Inspectorate of Government to clean up their house which he said has been infiltrated by corrupt individuals. 

Mr Museveni made the remarks during the swearing in of new Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya, and her deputies Dr Patricia Achan Okiria, and Ms Anne Twinomujuni, at State House Entebbe. 

The President, who did not disclose the root or evidence of the allegation, said: “People are fed up of corruption, this is not a difficult job for serious and honest people. Your offices are infiltrated, start by cleaning it up and link up with the public to collect vital information.”

In response to the President’s remarks, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, in an interview said:

“About whether the house is infested is not a matter to my immediate knowledge. But if the appointing authority has that knowledge and has not acted on it, I can only say he is complicit with them because he has the powers to order for investigations and act on the corrupt…”

He added: “My earlier thinking was that the office is a toothless dog. They are not able to act on runaway officials, political corruption. I would ask the IGG after investigating her office, should investigate the presidency. As to what they are going to do, their mandate is very clear, let them move.”

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Ms Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, said the President’s remarks worsen the loss of public trust in the institution, adding that the information could be used as a starting point in getting rid of corruption in the IGG’s office.  

“What needs to be done is to take action. If the President knows that the office is corrupt, it also means that he knows who these people are. What has he done about it? Probably he has intelligence reports about who is corrupt in that office. What he needs to do is share that information with the new Inspectors of Government so that they can act on it,” she said. 

Mr Peter Wandera, the executive director of Transparency International Uganda, advised the new IGG to seek out her predecessors to pick knowledge on how to run the Inspectorate, and use the systems in place to work.

“The Ugandan society there is high level of corruption, and when fighting corruption you assume that corruption is there… there are systems s in place to fight the corrupt in the IGGs office. She has to make sure those systems are working,” he said.

Speaking on her first day in office yesterday, the new IGG said she will work with the team to set up a conducive environment for whistleblowers including a call centre where people can call to report cases of corruption, and rallied the public to personalise the fight against corruption. 

Background
In 2012, the President penned a letter to donors, stating that the office had been infiltrated and would be cleaned up by then newly appointed IGG Justice Irene Mulyagonja. 

He, however, repeated the same allegations during a  State of the Nation address in 2018, this time accusing the IGG of not doing enough, and, established the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to fight graft. 

Chapter 13 of the Constitution mandates the IGG to eliminate corruption, abuse of authority and of public office, with authority to investigate or cause investigation, arrest or cause arrest, prosecute or cause prosecution, make orders and give directions during investigations.

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