4 December 2012

Uganda: IGG Accused of Protecting Corrupt Officials

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja, has cautioned anti-corruption activists against politicising the fight against graft by heaping blame on the Government for the current corruption trends.

"You are throwing stones at the Government in power but, you may equally become corrupt if you are put in such positions," she said, during the second National Anti-corruption Convention at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Monday.

Mulyagonja said corruption is so pervasive in society that even the activists are likely to behave the same way as corrupt government officials if they are employed in the public service.

"Corruption is not blue, red or yellow. You may continue to see the same situation even if you change colours," she added.

The IGG noted that the fight against corruption cannot be won if it is restricted to the anti-corruption agencies of government, saying the biggest watchdog was a vigilant public.

She noted that grand corruption in the public service began to show its ugly face, during the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting that Uganda hosted in 2007, adding that it has continued to rise.

Mulyagonja, who was the chief guest, underscored the importance of concerted efforts in dealing with the vice.

But the former ethics and integrity minister, Miria Matembe ,who had earlier shed tears as she recalled the ordeal that some families in northern Uganda are going through as a result of corruption, approached Mulyagonja after delivering her speech and said:" You are here protecting the thieves yet you know them and have the evidence against them."

Mulyagonja replied: "I don't have the evidence until I get it. We shall talk, we shall find a solution."

The anti-corruption activists resolved to isolate all politicians and public officials who have been implicated in various corruption scams in which billions meant for the public have been lost.

The activists also resolved to stop extending invitations to the corrupt officials to attend their parties and funerals.

They argued that the people who had been named in corruption scandals should not be allowed to preside over functions or speak to the poor people they are stealing from.

A recent report by the Auditor General revealed that billions of money meant for pensioners and reconstruction of northern Uganda was diverted by government officials.

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