Uganda: Igg - What Lies Ahead As Kamya, Deputies Swear in

23 September 2021

Ms Beti Kamya was yesterday sworn in as the new Inspector General of Government amid growing loss of public trust in government's commitment to fight corruption.

The swearing-in ceremony held at State House Entebbe was officiated by President Museveni.

The President asked Ms Kamya and her new team at the Inspectorate of Government to leave no stone unturned in the fight against corruption.

Ms Kamya, together with her deputies Dr Patricia Achan Okiria, and Ms Anne Twinomugisha, face an uphill task of salvaging the tainted image of the country in terms of public expenditure, procurement processes and lack of political will to end corruption.

Since her appointment, the former Rubaga Member of Parliament has made pledges to decisively deal with the vice.

Stakeholders, however, say Ms Kamya's optimism faces major challenges that have persisted over time.

A report titled 'Failure or Fatigue? Examining the changing trends in perceived corruption in Uganda' released by Afro barometer last month indicates that majority of Ugandans believe that all the interventions put in place by government to fight corruption have not yielded results.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index of 2020, Uganda ranks 142nd out of 180 countries with a score of 27 per cent.

President Museveni has also on numerous occasions questioned the effectiveness of the IGG in ending corruption.

"What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidents to the office of the IGG? That was the purpose of that office; to protect the public from corrupt officials; to protect the investors against corrupt officials. The IGG should reflect on this.

Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers," Mr Museveni said during the 2018 state of the nation address.

He has since set up alternative agencies, including the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, that has been louder in dealing with corruption suspects.

Ms Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, is doubtful whether Ms Kamya's reign will cause any change.

"The whole issue of public trust, because our research shows that people end up reporting cases to various entities which shows a lack of trust... the other is feedback, when people report cases, how fast are they handled and how fast do you provide them with feedback?" she said.

Ms Kagaba also said big shots in the country will be a huge impediment in the new IGG's fight against corruption.

"I do not expect any modus operando that is going to be different, the untouchables, the so called "mafia" that the same government people have been crying about, I do not thing Kamya will touch them," Ms Kagaba said.

Speaking to Daily Monitor after her swearing-in, Ms Kamya said she is aware of the challenges ahead but said with the backing of the President, she will deliver a new era in the fight against graft.

She dismissed the talk of untouchables.

"There is no untouchables in this. If the president is the one who appoints me and he urges me to work hard and catch thieves and the president has in his manifesto that this time corruption will be stumped out, it is not a myth," she said.

The new IGG said she will focus on detecting the vice in the offices of the accounting officers since they are the custodians of public resources.

"We shall continue to hunt down the corrupt... the new ingredient we shall add is prevention. Work towards detection and prevention not to wait for the crime to be committed... we know who the gate keepers are, whom we give all our monies to," she said.

She has also pledged to conduct massive sensitisation to get all Ugandans on board, while working with other agencies, including civil society.

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Findings

A report titled 'Failure or Fatigue? Examining the changing trends in perceived corruption in Uganda' released by Afro barometer last month indicates that majority of Ugandans believe that all the interventions put in place by government to fight corruption have not yielded results.

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