New IGG vows to dig into Covid-19 cash mess

Saturday September 25 2021
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Inspector General of Government (IGG) senior staff pose for a group picture together with Ms Beti Kamya the IGG, (3rd Left) during her first day in office yesterday Thursday. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

Newly sworn-in Inspector General of Government, Beti Kamya, has said she will launch an investigation into the reported mismanagement of Covid-19 resources across different ministries agencies and departments.

Ms Kamya, who spoke to journalists shortly after assuming office on Wednesday, takes the mantle nearly two years after her predecessor, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, left office.

Numerous report from government and private entities have cited gross irregularities in the utilisation of resources allocated to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects.

A report by the Parliamentary Taskforce on Covid -19 released in July directed the Auditor General to conduct an audit into the irregularities, including procurement of masks, under the Ministry of Health

The 2019/2020 audit report by the Auditor General also unearthed abuse of billions of shillings and other donations meant for the Covid-19 response.

The report implicates, among others, officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, who could not verify receipts for procurements amounting to Shs55.8b. The report also revealed that Shs10.574b was diverted by five government entities which spent it on items other than those for which the money was released.

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Recent reports have also indicated irregularities in the disbursement of Covid-19 relief cash via mobile money, with money going to ghosts and those not belonging to the vulnerable group.

These and more cases are some that the IGG will be looking into.

 “There is so much more that is going on or has gone on in the management of Covid-19 resources, so we shall be very interested definitely…it is a lot of money and life of Ugandans so we shall be interested in the management of Covid-19 resources,” she said.

Ms Kamya has since her appointment in July vowed to stamp out graft in the country by relying on mass sensitization and working with the public to isolate the corrupt.

“It is going to be everybody’s war. Everybody in this country who suspects or knows a crime that has been committed or about to be committed or is the process of being committed, should work with us, and if they do not, then morally and consciously they will also be culpable and complicit,” she said.

“We are going to pay a lot of attention to the public to personalize the cost of corruption…so that everybody knows it is me they are stealing [from].”

Ms Kamya said she will work with different officials, including the prime minister, the Speaker of Parliament, and the Judiciary, permanent secretaries and CSOs.

She said she will also address the issue of backlog and delayed handling of cases. “I will ask the PS to give me a list of all the outstanding work by date, subject, accused and responsible person and the value involved so that we see the amount of work we are talking about.”

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