The Inspectorate of Government plans to display a shame list of corrupt public officials in two months. The list will include implicated officials and those who have failed to implement recommendations from the inspectorate of government, or the court rulings arising from corruption and abuse of office cases.
These include chief administrative officers, CAOs, and officers from ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs). The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Beti Olive Kamya, says that the inspectorate is consolidating information about the implicated officers for publication. She notes that whoever would not have updated their records with the IG, will appear on the shame list.
According to Kamya, the display will help change the public perception of the IG. She explains that due to the non-compliance of the officers, many Ugandan see the inspectorate as non-efficient yet it efficiently executes its mandate.
“We have been doing investigations, issuing orders and plea bargains, and assuming that people are going to pay. We have been missing a mechanism to make people pay, yet we have recovered a lot of money on paper, that is why we put up this follow-up unit to concentrate on this work and after two months, we are going to publish all the defaulters in cash or kind,” Kamya said.
She revealed this while commissioning the IG’s follow-up unit, a new department that is mandated to ensure that its orders and court rulings arising from its cases are implemented by the concerned parties. According to Kamya, the IG is currently investigating several cases worth up to Shs 500 billion, which are nearing completion. She says that she is very optimistic, that all this money will also be recovered despite their limited investigative capacity.
“As an institution, we don’t have enough staff. In Uganda, unlike in many other countries, all the ombudsman's work and the corruption fight are fused under one inspectorate that’s why we are constrained. We are doing the work of three people with the facilitation of one that is why capacity is the problem,” she explained.
Speaking about the follow-up unit, Kamya said it is a permanent integration in the IG management structure, and it doesn’t come with any additional costs because the selected officers are employees of the inspectorate who have just changed roles.
“This unit’s composition has been carefully selected, from all the inspectorate employees, and the team will be headed by a person at the rank of manager. Other than other unit managers, this one will report directly to the IGG, not to the director," she said.
The inaugural follow-up unit will be led by Victor Acidri, as its manager, and Simon Ariko as the supervisor. Other members include Jemimah Zawedde, Julian Nantale, Wilfred Gumisiriza, and Diana Nakkazi Mirembe. Acidri says that as a unit, they are taking on the responsibility to change the IG from the perceived scarecrow.
“It has been talked about that the IG just investigates or prosecutes and stops there. But from today that is history, we are going to follow the corrupt until we recover what belongs to the government. We need to reach the implementation stage of more than 55 per cent, as stated in the national development plan, and we don’t want to use resources, investigate, prosecute and stop there. We have to recover and for those who don’t want to comply we shall shame them,” he said.
Records from the IG, indicate that Uganda loses up to Shs 20 trillion annually to corruption and abuse of office-related cases. Combined government agencies managed to recover Shs 100 billion from the corrupt officials with the Inspectorate singularly recovering Shs 30 billion this year and interdicting 50 public servants, mostly CAOs. The inspectorate has also secured 34 convictions out of 86 prosecution cases.