3 December 2012

Uganda: Civil Servants' Wealth to Be Probed

The Government is planning to verify assets of every civil servant and those found to have amassed wealth illegally, risk losing their property, ethics minister Simon Lokodo has said.

"All civil servants are going to be subjected to verification of their property. If found that you earned it illegally, it will be confiscated by the Government," Lokodo said.

The minister was responding to a comment from Rwampara MP, Vincent Kyamadidi, that the Government was not committed to the fight against corruption.

"President Yoweri Museveni in 2004 declared zero tolerance to corruption, but his Government is not walking the talk," Kyamadidi said.

Kyamadidi commended Lokodo for not being involved in any scandal, but advised him to tell his fellow ministers to step aside once their names are mentioned in any corruption scandal.

Lokodo said the directorate of ethics and integrity will come up with a law on asset recovery to punish those who have ill-gotten wealth.

"We are going to apply draconian laws and recover the assets," he said.

The minister was launching an artistic impression to create awareness among the community in the fight against corruption at Kayabwe in Mpigi district last week. The mural was designed by the Uganda Debt Network.

Lokodo also said accounting officers will now be recruited on a contract basis.

The executive director of Uganda Debt Network, Patrick Tumwebaze, urged the Government to strengthen laws against corruption because at the moment, a 10-year imprisonment for a person who embezzles money is too lenient.

The resident district commissioner of Mpigi, Fred Bamwine, observed that unless new laws to fight graft are introduced, it would be hard to stamp out the vice.

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