IGG recovers Shs30b from thieving officials
What you need to know:
- The IGG said her office has caused the interdiction of about 50 public servants.
The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has recovered Shs30b this year from corrupt government officials, the Monitor has learnt.
Addressing the media yesterday, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya, said her office recovered the money after investigating 26 high-profile corruption cases.
Of the Shs30b, a total of Shs9b was recovered from the Agriculture ministry and Shs1b from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).
“This year, we are proud to have recovered about Shs30b and we are currently investigating cases worth Shs500b and many of them are at concluding stages,” Ms Kamya said.
The IGG said her office has caused the interdiction of about 50 public servants, including chief administrative officers (CAOs) and some Inspectorate of Government staff.
She further said 86 cases have been prosecuted and 34 officials convicted, while others are at different levels of court processes.
“We have halted procurement, recruitment and other activities in government institutions that would have led to loss of public funds and public trust. We have also stepped up engagement with the public through barazas [public meetings] and outreach programmes with institutions such as the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), district chairpersons and the media,” she added.
IGG has also established a unit to follow up on the defaulters and implement IGG and court orders arising out of the IG prosecution.
The team led by Mr Victor Acidri, consists Mr Simon Ariko, Ms Jemimah Zawedde, Ms Juliana Nantale Batte, Mr Winfred Gumisisriza and Ms Diana Nakkazi Mirembe.
“The IG has recovered on paper a lot of money and people have come out and accepted that they caused the loss of funds and promised to refund, but the mechanism of following that up has been missing. That’s why we put up this unit to concentrate on that matter,” Ms Kamya said.
She added that the board responsible for staffing and welfare appointed the unit following the IG human resource policy and manual.
The follow-up team consists of technical support from the Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Public Service, and experienced individuals.
She further said the team would report directly to the IGG unlike previously when only directors reported to the IGG and units to the directors.
“I call upon people, especially public officers and political leaders who have been ordered either by the IG or court, to perform any function arising out of IG investigations to report to the team and update their records in the period not exceeding two months from today (yesterday), after which names of debtors and defaulters will be published in the media and vigorous collection done at the defaulters’ cost,” Ms Kamya added.
She also emphasised that whistleblowers, who report an act of corruption which leads to investigation and recovery of the public funds, are entitled to five percent of the recovered funds.
Mr Acidri promised not to turn a blind eye on any defaulters.
“With my team, I am assuring you that we shall manage, we shall follow you and ensure that we have got you. The moment the IG gives you orders, you must respond. If you don’t respond, then you are going for the worst. We shall try our best to make sure IGG’s orders are adhered to and we need that implementation percentage which is acceptable by the National Development Plan,” Mr Acidri vowed.
According to a scorecard released by government on December 7, the Auditor General (AG) was at the forefront of recovering the swindled money followed by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) and Inspectorate of Government.
The Auditor General carried out 6,763 financial compliance, 23 value-for-money, 101 specialised engineerings, 85 forensic, and nine Information Technology (IT) audits during the reviewed period.
SHACU recovered Shs35.5b, with Shs8.6b in inflated Covid-19 relief food prices, Shs480m swindled at local governments, Shs3.6b inflated claims in the name of Bukasa Inland Port project-affected persons, and Shs2.9b worth of stolen drugs.
The Inspectorate of Government only Shs30b
According to IG Bi-Annual performance report to Parliament, July –December 2021, a total of 761 new complaints were registered, of which 212 were sanctioned for investigation. Arising from the corruption cases registered two high profile syndicated corruption cases and 12 other corruption cases in ministries, departments and agencies were investigated and Shs9.7b recommended for recovery.
A total of 189 corruption cases were investigated and completed in the Local Governments which led to arrest and prosecution of 10 public officials, administrative actions on 60 officials and recommendation for recovery of Shs3.1 billion, dismissal of 19 public officials from service, warning, and reprimand of 17 public officials, interdiction of three officials while 40 officials were forwarded to their respective service commissions for administrative sanctions.
In addition, the IG prosecuted 105 cases, of which 21 cases were concluded categorised as follows: six convictions, eight acquittals and seven cases were withdrawn. As a result of the investigations and prosecutions Shs1.486b was recovered and deposited on the IG Asset Recovery Account with the Bank of Uganda.
The Inspectorate of Government recovered only Shs30b.
According to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Uganda is ranked 144 out of 180 countries.