IGG seeks God’s help in fight against corruption

The IGG, Ms Beti Kamya (right), greets Msgr Charles Kasibante, the chairperson of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda board, during a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on July 28, 2022. PHOTO | FRANK BAGUMA

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya, has taken the fight against corruption to places of worship.

While addressing a joint press conference with the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) in Kampala yesterday,  Ms Kamya said they have organised anti-corruption prayers at Kololo Independence Grounds tomorrow.

The First Lady and the Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, will be the guest of honour.

“The Inspectorate of Government and partners have a robust plan to deal with corruption this year but as a God-fearing nation, we have agreed to place God at the centre of the war against corruption in the financial year 2022/2023 and to launch our fight with national interdenominational prayers against corruption,” Ms Kamya said.

She said as President Museveni read to the nation the budget, the thieves pulled out their calculators to find out how much they would steal.

“Our fear as a nation is that given the past experience, the leeches are waiting to steal this money for their individual benefit. It is now common knowledge that corruption is at the core of Uganda’s social and economic problems,” Ms Kamya said.

“It is the reason why Ugandans are frustrated. Medicine does not reach hospitals, government jobs are given to people who don’t qualify for them, roads are in bad shape, road carnage results in deaths. It is the main reason for land grabbing, the influx of Ugandan girls seeking menial jobs abroad, and why government is unable to rise salaries for public servants,”  the IGG added.  

Ms Kamya said the government has increased the budget for her office from Shs43 billion to Shs79b to enable them fight the vice and recover stolen resources.

She said in the last eight months, her office has been able to recover Shs12. 6 billion from corrupt officials from institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, that of Agriculture, and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. 

“They misappropriated the funds and faked accountabilities. We got them through whistleblowers. We appreciate whistle blowers for doing a great job,” Ms Kamya said.

She added that if her office was well facilitated, she would be able to recover between Shs100 and Shs200b per year. A survey commissioned by the inspectorate last year revealed that Uganda  could be losing  up to  Shs20 trillion  per year to corruption out of which Shs10 trillion is lost through undeclared taxes and utility user fees,  corruption in procurement, inflation of the public payroll, and shoddy work, among other ways.

The chairperson of the IRCU board, Msgr Charles  Kasibante, said if Ugandans do not turn away from corruption, they will bring a curse upon themselves.

“A country that take a wrong direction curses itself and in the process, loses its own life. Unless we change, we are cursing ourselves as nation, when resources are stolen, the gap between the rich and poor increases and the poor continue to cry out. As a result, the curses go to the nation and those who are corrupt,”  he said.