Corruption

“Corruption is a threat to good governance,” says 3rd Deputy PM

(Last Updated On: 2 March 2023)

Uganda’s 3rd deputy prime minister Rukia Nakadama has expressed fears that Uganda’s democracy and good governance are being threatened by corruption tendencies that have riddled the country.

She was on Wednesday speaking at Lira Mayor’s Gardens as the chief guest during the national launch of the Inspectorate of Government Online Declaration System (IG-ODS) where she also publicly opened the IGG portal and publicly declared her incomes, asset,s and liabilities as the crowd watched on a digital screen.

“Transparency is a strong foundation of democracy and leaders should serve their people with transparency and integrity and declaration of wealth will help us to achieve this, ” prime minister Nakadama Isanga asserted.

In 2016, the Inspectorate of Government launched an online declaration system that enables leaders to declare their incomes, assets, and liabilities using a web-based database system. 

This is in tandem with Section 41 (1) (b) of the Leadership Code Act of July 2002 in which specified leaders are required to declare their wealth.

According to the prime minister, the declaration of wealth is not just about compliance with the law, but leading by example and serving the public in trust and integrity. 

She also said doing so ensures that the community has access to effective service delivery because they are the taxpayers.

Nakadama warned that if leaders and public officers do not serve the community well, the suffering goes to them and cited a scenario where a community is lacking safe and clean water sources and mothers have to walk for long distances to fetch water under harsh conditions. 

“…this breeds misunderstandings between wives and husbands leading to domestic violence which is stemming from corruption by public officers who are mandated to provide such services.”

She, however, acknowledged that she is aware there is a need to put in more resources to help the Inspectorate of Government to fight graft and pledged to push the issue with the government.

Lilly Rose Akello, the state minister for ethics and integrity in her speech, urged leaders and public officers to declare their incomes, assets, and liabilities within the stipulated time of 1st -31st March 2023 to avoid penalties.

She also used the occasion to rally cultural and religious leaders and the community to detest homosexuality and lesbianism because it is against African traditions and norms.

This was also reiterated by the chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group, Judith Alyek who said she is ready to vote in support of the anti-homosexuality bill which is already in Parliament.

Alyek also the Kole district woman MP, observed that corruption has become cancer that is depriving the local populace of service delivery and appealed to leaders and public officers to declare their wealth.

The Inspector General of Government Beti Olive Nabisango Kamya in her speech used the analogy of a family to explain the theft of public funds.

“When you are a parent, you should follow up with your child to know for instance if he has a new shirt, did you buy for him? If not, how did he buy it because he could have stolen a neighbor’s cow.” 

She further said this explains why government demands that leaders and public officers declare their incomes, assets, and liabilities.

To encourage the public to report corrupt officers, Kamya said, “I am driving a good public vehicle, I don’t feel the potholes and I don’t even feel the extra cost of fuel but you will if they steal the money meant for Lira-Kamdini road, that is why you have to join the fight against corruption.” 

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) is a constitutional body established under Chapters 13 and 14 of the Constitution of Uganda. 

The IG, among others, has the mandate of promoting and fostering strict adherence to the rule of law and the principle of natural justice and administration but most importantly to foster the elimination of corruption.

Meanwhile, Lira Resident City Commissioner (RCC) had this to say, “We have leaders and public servants who do not know God, they lie with impunity.”

RCC Egole wondered why such people would not want to declare their wealth if indeed they acquired it genuinely, and added that declarations by leaders will ensure that funds are used appropriately.

Richard Max Okello Orik, the Lira district LCV chairperson told the IGG and the prime minister that the people of Lango are very sincere and honest and are not corrupt at all. 

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