21 November 2012

Uganda: IGG Says Chogm Money May Not Be Recovered

Uganda may not be able to recover sh14 billion lost during the preparations for Chogm in 2007, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) has said. Justice Irene Mulyagonja, however, said the country made serious achievements in investigating and prosecuting the suspects.

She told New Vision that Ugandans and officials in her office learnt lessons from the way the cases were handled. "It has become clear to the public that no one is above the law. Even ministers and senior public officers can be prosecuted if they are suspected to have caused loss to the Government," Mulyagonja said.

Besides, she said, the Government recovered some money which it would not have if the investigations had not been carried out.

Three hotels, including Serena, Imperial Royale and J&M that caused losses to the Government during preparations for Chogm, compensated for the losses. "The three hotels were made to issue shares to the Government. This might not have happened hadn't the IGG intervened," she said.

On allegations that her office presents weak evidence against suspects so that they are acquitted, the IGG said they only go to court after gathering enough evidence. "As to whether the evidence is weak or not, it is for the courts to decide. We submit ourselves to their jurisdiction and wise opinions about the results," Mulyagonja said.

On the three ministers, who were recently acquitted over Chogm funds, Mulyagonja said her office was studying the judgment before making a final decision on the next step to take. "As an institution, we presented all the evidence that we felt was good enough," she said.

"But prosecution is not the best option for every incidence of corruption because the standard of proof is high beyond reasonable doubt," Mulyagonja added.

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