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OPINION: IGG, Surprise Ugandans and Resign

While delivering the state of the nation address on 6th June 2018 at the International conference center, Kampala, President Museveni blasted the Inspector General of Government (IGG) for failing to fight corruption in government.

He questioned why the government should continue recognizing the IG yet it had failed to protect the public and investors from corrupt officials.

He wondered why the public doesn’t report corrupt officials to the Igg but as well further questioned the competence of the staff at the inspectorate of government.

The president’s loss of confidence in the IGG’s office was climaxed with the announcing of the new anti-corruption unit attached to state house which will be headed James Tweheyo, the formerly vocal general secretary of Uganda National Teachers’ Union(UNATU).

He then impelled the public to report all corruption cases to this unit.

The IGG’s office is currently headed by Irene Mulyagonja who took the charge since 2012, and still has two more years on her contract.

Her tenure has been characterized by dwindling public confidence, thousands of unresolved complaints/failure to investigate and sternly prosecute the accused despite the overwhelming evidence, making impugned directives, and of late making unnecessary media outbursts indirectly attacking the president while covering her despicable competences as the head of the agency mandated to stamp out corruption.

The president perhaps added his voice to the tens of thousands who have lost trust in Mulyagonja’s office.

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While addressing hundreds of lawyers at the Annual Law Conference at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe in April 2018, the distinguished chief Justice, Bart Katureebe also blasted the IGG for failing to prosecute magistrates who were caught red-handed taking bribes.

Pardon

The Chief Justice narrated two cases where the IGG pardoned two magistrates who were involved in corruption. In one of the cases, a magistrate solicited for a bribe of Uganda shillings 1.5 million to rule in favor of a group of peasants.

The Magistrate was caught red-handed receiving the bribe but the IGG pardoned him and requested him to resign.

He was given all retirement benefits and later praised by public service for giving dedicated service to the country despite being corrupt. The chief justice opines that this same person is practicing law in Kampala.

In the second case, a magistrate sought a Shs 1 million bribe to grant bail to a person who was involved in a traffic offence. He was caught red-handed but Ms. Mulyagonja brazenly reasoned that it was worthless to spend millions prosecuting someone where available evidence could only prove a Shs 250,000 bribe.

These two cases as revealed by the chief justice are just a tip of the iceberg into the maladies at the inspectorate of government.

The failure by the IGG to take stern action against the two thieving magistrates only served to encourage more in the judiciary take bribes as the IGG’s actions weren’t deterrent enough!

The concept of resignation isn’t common in our public sector. Officials such as Mulyagonja are quick to shift blame to others for their inefficiencies.

She has, according to Daily Monitor of 8th June 2018 accused the president for harboring the corrupt and fronted budgetary constraints as a challenge.

I would be interested in knowing how budgetary constraints have stopped the IGG from investigating, arresting and prosecuting Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director at Bank of Uganda who despite earning a gross salary of less than Shs 3o million per month had over Shs 18 billion shillings on her accounts according to leaked bank details.

By resigning, Ms. Mulyagonja will save her name from being soiled further as she can hardly redeem her tainted record. It will also restore some trust in the office of the IGG as a more competent person will be appointed to ably replace her.

Kagenyi Lukka is a current affairs analyst and the MP aspirant, Ikiiki constituency.

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