The general public will this year be involved in verifying the wealth and assets of government officials of Bank of Uganda (BoU), Ministries of Health and Finance and those of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, has said.
Justice Mulyagonja explained that as the institution is charged with fighting corruption, they have been receiving complaints from the public that some public officials under declare their wealth.
She said it is from this account that they are to involve the general public in the asset and liability verification of the public leaders.
“This financial year, the Inspectorate of Government (IG) is verifying all leaders in Bank of Uganda, Ministry of Finance, OPM and Ministry of Health. Other ministries, institutions, Local Government and agencies will be brought on board later and we shall be involving the public in the exercise,” the IGG said.
Adding: “The IG this time round wants to compare and see whether what the officials have declared is what is exactly what the locals in the areas of their respective residences know of what they won.”
The ombudsman was speaking yesterday in Kampala during the launch of the 2019 online declaration period, where she encouraged the leaders who are mandated to declare their assets and liabilities to do so in time and beat the March 31 deadline.
“I would like, therefore, to call upon all leaders to make their declarations correctly and within the prescribed time to avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law,” Justice Mulyagonja warned.
She said those who will under declare their assets will be handled by the Leadership Code Tribunal that will soon be put in place.
Speaking at the same launch, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Mr Vincent Bagiire, said government agencies are in the process of sharing data that will make it hard for the leaders to under declare their wealth.
“This is because you may under declare some assets such as land but when you purchase land, the Ministry of Lands captures that transaction, meaning if these government agencies shared data, it would be very hard for the leaders to under declare their wealth,” Mr Bagiire explained.
When asked about her take regarding the letter that she wrote to Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to investigate some of the members on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises leaders for alleged corruption during the investigations of the seven closed commercial banks, the IGG said she has not yet been formally summoned by Parliament and that she will, for now, remain silent.
“The Speaker of Parliament referred this matter to one of the committees. I heard about it that I was summoned to that committee to respond to why I referred the investigations to ISO. I am still waiting for their summons. So for now, I have a right to remain silent,” Ms Mulyagonja responded.