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M7 on Corruption: The IGG has been infiltrated by bad elements

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President Museveni speaking at the 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at Lake Victoria Serena, Kigo. He likened the IGG to a failed watchman, forcing him to appoint another watchman to watch over the watchman

President Yoweri Museveni, has yet again publicly scolded the Inspector General of Government, Mrs Irene Mulyagonja for failing to fight corruption, this time saying that her office has been infiltrated by wrong elements.

President Museveni who was the chief guest, at the ongoing was speaking yesterday at the 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at Lake Victoria Serena, Kigo, said that due to incessant failures by the IGG’s office, he was forced to appoint, Lt Col Edith Nakalema to oversee the IGG.

President Museveni with Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland and the IGG Mrs Mulyagonja. Museveni has made it a habit to publicly scold the IGG for failing in her duties to fight corruption and in December 2018 appointed his former aide, Lt Col Edith Nakalema to watch over the IGG.

The conference’s theme is: Time to Act- Prevent Corruption for Sustainable Development

He likened the IGG to a watchman, left to guard a village or home, but had failed in their job.

“I hear the villagers crying, that things are going wrong; but if they are going wrong, what happened to the watchman, the one I left in charge of the home? Why has he not heard that someone is breaking the window?” asked the President.

“I think she (IGG) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups,” he said adding that this is the reason he had to appoint a “watchman (Nakalema) to watch the watchman.”

WATCHMAN’S WATCHMAN: Lt Col Edith Nakalema attending the
9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies. One of her first assignments is to investigate the IGG’s office for alleged maladministration.

The first time the president publicly chided the IGG was during the June 6th 2018, State of the Nation Address.

“What happened to the IGG? Why don’t the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG,” asked an angry Museveni.

“If it is not working, why should we keep it then? The IGG should reflect on this. Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers,” he said.

Weeks later, he would appoint Lt. Col Edith Nakalema to head a Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit.

Recently, it was reported in the Daily that the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit, headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema is probing some members of management and the board of the Inspectorate of Government (IG) for alleged corruption as well as illegal and irregular recruitments. This stems from a whistle-blower report from an insider at the IG that also accused the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Mrs. Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza of poor leadership that has presided over this maladministration.

Reacting to the calls for investigation, Mrs. Mulyagonja on Friday April 12th told Daily Monitor newspaper that her office was anxiously waiting for the outcomes of the State House investigation to take action on the culprits- which by the way include herself, since she is directly named in the whistle-blower report.   

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Finance

AIG taps on Lydia Kayonde to lead their return to Ugandan market

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New AIG Insurance Managing Director, Lydia Kayonde. She is a seasoned insurance executive with over 15 years experience, most of them at AIG

American International Group (AIG) has tapped on seasoned insurance executive, Lydia Kayonde to lead their re-entry into the Ugandan market, CEO East Africa Magazine has learnt.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega, was quoted by The Independent magazine in December 2018, confirming that AIG Uganda Ltd, had been issued a green-field insurance investment.

Before its exit late 2016, AIG had operated in Uganda since 1962. It, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent federal bailout of the mother company, was rebranded to Chartis Insurance in 2009, but reverted to AIG in 2012.

Before its exit, AIG had gradually lost its market leadership position to Jubilee Insurance and UAP Insurance (now UAP), with UGX31.9 billion premiums in 2016 and a market share of 7.10% compared to its heydays in 2013 when it underwrote UGX50.1 billion in non-life premiums and UGX29.9 billion in life premiums.

Lydia Kayonde, then Head of Bancassurance at Stanbic Bank, at their 2017 launch of bancassurance services. She has been instrumental in earning Stanbic the leadership position in bancassurance with over 50% market share in the first full year of bancassurance.

In 2014, when IRA stopped issuing licenses to composed insurance companies and ordered for the split of life and non-life business, AIG dropped its life insurance arm. Their industry market share and business continued declining till their eventual exit in 2016.

Their headquarter building was sold to Britam Insurance for an undisclosed amount.

However, even in their last days- AIG remained one of the most respected and trusted brands in the business, especially in claims settlement.

Who is Lydia Kayonde?

Lydia Kayonde, is no stranger in both the AIG and insurance corridors. For nearly 10 years, she was the Manager-Liabilities & Financial Lines at both AIG and Chartis before she was tapped by Stanbic Bank to head their newly established bancassurance unit.

Stanbic was the first bank to receive a bancassurance license in October 2017.

Other than leading Stanbic to being the first bancassurance agent, Kayonde has been instrumental in shaping Stanbic as the industry leader in bancassurance.

Stanbic, according to the IRA 2018 annual report, collected UGX9.9 billion in premiums, out of the industry’s UGX19.7 billion non-life premiums- earning a UGX50.22% market share, well ahead of Barclays Bank and dfcu Bank, their closest rivals, who collected UGX5.1 billion and UGX1.5 billion translating into 26.1% and 7.6% market share respectively.

Stanbic also led in non-life premiums collections – having collected UGX1.8 billion in premiums- of the total UGX6.3 billion industry premiums, translating to a 27.9 market share.

Positive 2019 outlook

AIG is yet to officially comment about their return to the Ugandan market, but is believed to be driven by the growth in infrastructure spending by especially government and oil and gas companies- all of which herald positive industry projections.


Left-Right: Insurance Consortium for Oil and Gas (ICOG), Chairman and Goldstar Insurance Managing Director, Azim Tharani, Peter Muliisa Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer of the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum chairman at the announcement of the $200 million oil & gas insurance fund. Oil & gas related infrastructure investments are expected to boost the local insurance sector

Government infrastructure investments, reached 8.9 percent of GDP in FY17/18 and is envisaged to increase further this year and next, according to the IMF Uganda Country Report, May 2019.

Uganda is transitioning from the oil exploration stage to development and production stages; industry estimates say this stage will take up to 5 years and will cost up to USD20 billion. Uganda has also opened a second licensing round for five oil and gas exploration blocks in the Albertine Graben.

14 insurance companies in Uganda, under their Insurance Consortium for Oil and Gas (ICOG) have raised over $200m (sh745b) aggregated insurance capacity in readiness for Uganda’s oil and gas industry.

The insurance industry in Uganda underwrote UGX856 billion (USD227.8 million) in 2018- that is UGX73.60 billion (USD19.6 million) more than the Shs782.4 billion (208.2 million) underwritten in 2017. This is a 17.5% growth rate, compared to a 14.75% growth rate registered in 2017.

IRA Q1, 2019 reports show that industry premiums grew 9.1%, from UGX260.5 billion in Q1, 2018 to 284.1 billion, on the back of a 30.7% growth in life premiums- from UGX48.5 billion to UGX63.4 billion. Non-life business grew by 4.1% from UGX190.8 billion to UGX198.5 billion while Health Membership Organisations (HMOs) grew by 4.4% from UGX21.2 billion to UGX22.1 billion.

IRA’s Kadunabbi in a recent 23rd May 2019 industry presentation also expressed optimism that the industry would maintain this positive trend in 2019, on the back of upcoming projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, the USD3.5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), Uganda Airlines and the UGX470 billion CCTV cameras project in metropolitan Kampala.

He also said that growth in bancassurance as a channel as well the increased uptake of micro-insurance facilitated by mobile money platforms spelt growth news for the sector. Kadunabbi is also betting on recent industry engagements with Uganda Revenue Authority to enforce Section 9(3) of the Insurance Act so as to stop the millions of dollars being haemorrhaged out of the country in marine and cargo insurance.

Section 9(3) of the Insurance Act, dictates that, “all local risks and persons including imports shall be insured by insurance companies licensed to carryout insurance business in Uganda.”  

According to Bank of Uganda Balance of Payments report, USD67.5 million (UGX254.2 billion) left the country in 2018 for insurance- this is equivalent to 30% of the entire Ugandan insurance industry.

Kenya, under their revised insurance laws in 2017 localised all marine cargo insurance business, with some penalties for errant parties and in just one year, alone, grew marine premiums by 37%- from KES2.6 billion (UGX96.6 billion) to KES3.6 billion (UGX132.2 billion).

By comparison, Uganda underwrote UGX33.5 billion under the marine/aviation category in 2017.

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Q + As

INTERVIEW: Kadaga frustrated by poor health services, gov’t slow action on corruption and unfair representation of women in higher political offices

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Today, 19th May 2019, Rt Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, completes three (3) years since she was elected as Speaker for the 10th Parliament. Kadaga, who is serving her second term, spoke to CEO East Africa’s Muhereza Kyamutetera, on a number of issues.

Three years is more less a midterm for you; as you start the fourth year, when you look back have you achieved the things you set out to achieve when you started this term?

Yes, we are almost closing the third session of the tenth parliament.  In order to understand the performance of the 10th Parliament in the three sessions, there is need to establish the extent to which the key achievements were aligned to Parliament’s Strategic Plan that runs from 2016/2017 to 2019/20.

The plan focuses on best management practices through nurturing the democratic system of governance in our country as provided under Article 79 of the Constitution and is based on the following principles: democracy, accountability, development, institutional relations/partnerships and constitutionalism.   

Kadaga says that as a result of adoption of technology and digitization of some of parliament’s activities, the 10th parliament has been efficient- passing over 40 bills in 3 years- 22 of them in this third session alone.

The plan has six strategic outcomes, namely:

  1. Strengthened institutional capacity of parliament to undertake its constitutional mandate effectively and efficiently;
  2. Increased public involvement and participation in parliamentary business;
  3. Strengthened parliamentary accountability and scrutiny;
  4. Enacted comprehensive legislations for equitable and sustainable development;
  5. Effected participation in international engagements;
  6. Improved work environment for Members and staff of Parliament and the public.   

The plan is aligned to our vision- “A transformed, independent and people-centered parliament” and our mission: “to achieve improved accountability representation, democracy and good governance for sustainable development in Uganda.”

I will start with the “People-Centered” element because I think that we have been able to further eliminate the barriers between the public and us. We are more available to the public, we have had a number of health weeks, parliament weeks etc. Just yesterday we hosted the AGOA exhibition here- this is the first time it is happening in this country.

We felt that in order to promote trade and investment in this country and create employment, parliament would show case what is possible under AGOA and I am glad that just yesterday a number of products were identified for potential export, so I am happy that that has been done.

Former Bank of Uganda Executive Director, Supervision, Mrs Justine Bagyenda and Deputy Governor, Dr. Louis Kasekende. The duo were severally named by MPs as having been responsible for the irregular closure of several banks. Kadaga has called on government to expedite execution of the COSASE recommendations on Bank of Uganda by introducing a bill to amend the current Bank of Uganda Act. 

Regarding transformation- yes originally we were in the manual age, at least we have moved into the digital age, but am not yet satisfied about the transformation because I would really want to see a situation where the public can speak to us on the internet, give comments and opinions on bills and we can answer back; that is when I will really be happy.

On independence, I think that I am one of those people who has tried very hard to ensure that the independence of parliament is safe guarded. You have heard about some of the issues that I have had with the executive and the judiciary; that has been part of the battles to ensure that parliament is independent.  

On accountability, a lot has been achieved in that we have been able to work more on the public accounts reports, on the central government, public accounts reports for local governments, public accounts reports for state enterprises, and also on government assurances.

For example during the first session, the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), recovered billions of shillings which was meant for the projects affected persons, which had been appropriated but Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) had handed it over to Chinese road construction companies who instead of paying project affected people, instead put the money on fixed deposit accounts. It is COSASE which forced them to surrender the money and handed it back to the government and people were paid and roads were constructed.

Kadaga says Parliament is also alarmed by the high poverty levels and has consistently focused on legislation that ensures equitable and sustainable development

Recently we had the issue of Bank of Uganda, again by COSASE and we are waiting for action from the executive.  

On representation, I think the 10th Parliament has fared far better than other parliaments. I believe that we have had over 10 private members bills; in the past, in five years we would have three, but where we are now, there are many motions that have come up. MPS have also brought up more matters of national concern on the floor of the house which government has responded to.

On creating an improved work environment for Members and staff of Parliament and the public, we are now constructing a new chamber, except that when we planned, we planned for 500 members, and we are almost 500 now, so it is a bit challenging but that is part of what we have to work on.

We have also ratified two international protocols- but this is an area which is not very satisfactory. Government makes many treaties, many conventions but they are never domesticated, so they are not part of our law.

For example recently I was speaking at a meeting on slavery; there are conventions on slavery that our government is party too, but are not part of our law, so that is an area which is not satisfactory because the supply side (of bills) of the government is not working as quickly as it should.

We have also ensured that policies announced by government and also announced by parliament are implemented although this is another area which is not very satisfactory, because after we conclude a report, the government is supposed to come back to us in six months to say this is what we have done, on this recommendation but this area is not very satisfactory for now.   

What would you say are some of the key highlights of these three years?

As indicated above, the 10th Parliament’s foremost indicator is the number of legislations enacted for equitable and sustainable development”.

In the last three years, we have passed over 40 bills and in this third session alone, we have been able to pass 22 bills- in the past we used to do 11.  We passed three budgets in time and are working on the third one. Over 100 committee reports were considered and adopted. We have also adopted 97 resolutions on crosscutting issues.

You have been Speaker of Parliament since 2011 and a deputy Speaker since 2001. When you look back, are there some things/decisions that you were part of that you think you would love changed and or reversed?

I don’t think so, in fact I think there are things that I think would not have happened if I was not here, for instance in the 9th parliament, a number of police women were here, two of them were dismissed from because they were pregnant. So I said to them you cannot chase away women because they are pregnant, so I had a meeting with the commissioner, demanded that they are brought back because you cannot punish women for natural functions. If I was not here they would have been sent back to the barracks.


Kadaga, also the Woman MP for Kamuli District, decried slow government response to corruption issues, poor health services provision and poor representation of women in top government jobs.

On the same lines when I had just come, the women in this institution were not allowed to travel; I would work with them in the plenary and in other meetings, but after one year I realized that when I go for international meetings am only with the men, but I solved that.

I was also able, together with the house to change the rules in relation to the management of committees, because the standard and the fashion was to have all the committees- the vice chairman and the chairman were all men, I had to change that. So there are things that would not have happened if I was not here.

There are however, areas of disappointments for instance The Marriage and Divorce Bill which has been on the table since I was in primary school; we have still not been able to pass it and yet it is to address the inconsistencies in our societies.

We still have got an issue of low numbers and unfair representation of women in higher political offices. I would have wanted to see a woman prime minister or at least a deputy prime minister because in this country unless you are a prime minister you cannot chair cabinet, you cannot also decide what is coming on the agenda of cabinet. There is a vacancy for a deputy prime minister; I would have been happy to see a woman who can determine what is going to be decided and chair the cabinet.

Also, I am still dissatisfied with the provision of health services in this country- it is not as good as it should be. Then there is corruption- that is a very painful area.

Regarding corruption, there is a sentiment that parliament is a barking dog that does not bite. For example, parliament did a good job on probing the irregular closure of seven commercial banks by bank of Uganda, but has since gone quiet.  The other day the IGG was appearing at the government media centre and she said she can’t investigate the BoU officials because parliament has not asked her to investigate. Do you feel there are some gaps somewhere in fighting corruption?

In the accountability cycle, we have different stakeholders performing different roles. The Parliament’s role is to consider the Auditor General’s reports and make recommendations to the Executive to implement. 

Most of the recommendations/resolutions passed are advisory, so Executive has the obligation to implement them. For instance the probe on BOU, most of the recommendations require amendments to the current Act. The Executive has to expedite this process for most of these recommendations to be put into action. 

I think there is a gap because if we investigate and make recommendations, we cannot direct them (IGG); it is the government to say we are going to do A,B,C and D, that is why I was saying that they (executive) are supposed to come back in six months to say that on recommendation this we have sacked so and so and on this recommendation, we are prosecuting so and so; on this one we have got a conviction and they have not done that.

President Museveni and Prime Minister Rugunda. Kadaga is routing for a female Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, because unless you are a prime minister you cannot chair cabinet, you cannot also decide what is coming on the agenda of cabinet.

Parliament cannot be prosecutors and also the judge, so that is where the limitation is; it is very frustrating for us.

For example, I told you that during the first session we recovered money from road construction companies, but I was expecting somebody in government to come out and say who actually did this- who authorized the transfer of this money to the fixed deposit account?  

But nothing has happened and that is an area of frustration.

The Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) Survey 2016/2017 reported that the number of poor people in Uganda increased by 51% from 6.7 million in 2012/13 to 10.1 million people in 2016/17. This was despite the fact that amount of budgetary resources appropriated by parliament to government, increased 136.3% from UGX11.6 trillion in 2012/13 to UGX26.4 trillion in 2016/17. As an institution that is among others charged with assuring transparency and accountability in the application of public funds as well as monitoring the implementation of Government programmes and projects aren’t you concerned about this development? Are there any specific actions that parliament has put in place to reverse this trend?

Of course we are concerned about the increasing level of poverty but as I told you our work is to appropriate, the actors are in a different sector, then of course we carry on the oversight role to see whether the money was properly used. We have made a number of efforts to save more money, to increase the funds for the poor people who are under the youth livelihood project and the senior citizens grant scheme.

We have also continuously advocated for tax reforms/laws that are pro poor for example removal taxes on agricultural inputs and products as sector that employs about 80 percent of Ugandans.

At a personal level I have made interventions in my constituency and also in the general Busoga area to improve the economic capacity of our people. For example we are revamping the Kasolwe stock farm, which has been dead since 1969 to act one as a center of excellence for the improved animal breeds for the people, training in Aquaculture, piggery, poultry and so on.  

From the foregoing it appears Uganda’s problem has little to do with few resources and more to do with how government resources are utilised coupled with lack of consequences for errant government officials. What’s your take on this?

  
The 2015 Public Financial Management Act & the Budget Act, 2001 provide a sound legal framework for budget preparation and execution. Whereas Parliament is a key player in promoting good Public Financial Management it has a limited role in the execution/implementation of the budget.

However, due to the enormous development needs of the country, sector spending plans have typically not been realized, given the numerous implementation challenges, while tight resource envelopes for recurrent and development spending have had to be revisited through supplementary budgets. 

In addition, the National Planning Authority has continuously noted that overall, spending continues to be poorly aligned with the National Development Plan priorities. For example, the NPA noted that the FY16/17 budget was only 59 percent aligned with the National Development Plan (68 percent in FY15/16) with adverse implications for growth. The misalignment also reflects that some spending entities have not spelled out sector plans consistent with the National Development Plan. 

Through the budget approval period, Parliament through its sectoral committee has interrogated the budgets of Ministries, Agencies and Department and has on many occasions found out weakness e.g. poor project implementation capacity, weak expenditure controls for recurrent spending and procurement delays, and has recommended to government the areas that need to be addressed in order to improve the utilization of public resources. 

Based on the Auditor General’s recommendations to Parliament, Parliament has done its role of scrutiny and made resolutions through its accountability committees, and has also continuously emphasized and recommended to government on the need to improve transparency and accountability of public resources by establishing efficient and effective strategies of curbing the misuse of public resources especially the need to tackle corruption related tendencies.

However, the executive has been slow in implementing some of these resolutions. 

Much as Uganda’s hopes are pegged on the Economy, it appears, parliament seems to pay more attention to popular political legislation at the expense of business related legislation. What is your take on this?
 
The most important function for Parliament is to pass laws which provide good governance in the country. The fiscal issues such as, taxation and loans need the sanction of the parliament, after appropriate debate and all of these are business related. In my view, it is not true that Parliaments pays more attention to political legislation at the expense of business related legislation. 

During the First Session, 17 bills were passed of which 12 bills are business related legislation including: 

  1. The Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016;
  2. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Treaty (Implementation) Bill, 2016;
  3. The Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
  4. The Insurance Bill, 2016;
  5. The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Bill, 2015, among others. 

During the second session, 11 bills were passed, eight (8) of which were business related, including:

  1. The Biofuels Bill, 2016;
  2. The Tax Procedures Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  3. The Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2018;
  4. Excise Duty (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2018, etc….

During the First meeting of the third session, 18 bills were passed, 5 of which are business related, and these were:

  1. The Sugar Bill, 2016. 
  2. The Investment Code Bill, 2017, 
  3. The Tax Procedures Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018, 
  4. The Security Interest in Movable Property Bill, 2018 and 
  5. The Minimum Wages Bill, 2018. 


During your tenure, Uganda seems to have out-borrowed herself with little regard to effective utilization of borrowed resources leading to low return on investment for most government projects, especially infrastructure projects. This in turn increases poverty and severely limits our ability to pay back. Is Parliament merely rubber stamping government plans to borrow? 

The issuance of public debt is an important tool of economic policy. Borrowing can help countries to deal with negative shocks, undertake countercyclical fiscal policy, and finance exceptionally large expenditures, such as public infrastructure investment projects. At the same time, the government must be mindful that the public debt will indeed reap the expected benefit over the medium and long term, and that it is not undertaking the expenditure simply because there is easy financing available. 

Uganda’s development strategy in the National Development Plan prioritizes scaling up public investment to address critical infrastructure bottlenecks. Long-term sustainability of the development strategy also depends on strong investment in people. Given limited budget resources, the government must find a balance between infrastructure needs and supporting social sectors, such as health and education. 

Parliament has also fully ensured that Article 159(2) of the Constitution and Sections 36(2) &36(5) of the Public Finance and Management Act, 2015, which provide for the Power of Government to borrow and Authority to raise loans respectively are complied with by Government. 

Uganda’s Public debt stock increased by 22%, from UGX. 34,423.52 billion, recorded in the FY 2016/17 to UGX. 42,070.47 billion, in the FY 2017/18. The existing debt stock constitutes of UGX 28,514.48 billion as external debt, while UGX.13,555.99 billion is domestic debt. In terms of shares external debt takes the largest share of total public debt at 68% while domestic debt is 32% of total public debt. 

Uganda has relied on external borrowing to finance its large-scale infrastructure projects, which contributed to rising debt, putting more strain on the budget as more resources need to be allocated for interest payments. 

Nevertheless, Parliament through its Committee on National Economy report on the country’s state of indebtedness provides critical information on the country’s state of indebtedness. The country remains at low risk of debt distress. Parliament has recommended to government on debt management areas that need urgent improvement. Among them is the need for government to keep debt at manageable levels, through increased domestic revenue mobilization in order to reduce the country’s reliance on external support in the long term. Am happy to note that the government has been able to take up this recommendation as government is now finalizing a 5-year Domestic Revenue Mobilization Strategy. 

Other debt management areas that Parliament has strongly recommended to government is the urgent need for government to expedite implementation of all projects financed by debt to increase the country’s productive capacity in order to repay debt, together with avoiding borrowing for consumptive purposes (especially consultancies, salaries, purchase of project vehicles & workshops among others) as this does not increase the productive capacity of the economy. This will not only contribute towards achieving the objectives of the projects, but also guarantee economic returns that are greater than the interest rates charged, that will benefit the nation positively. 

Challenges like poor project designs, compensation of project affected persons, and accountability and ensuring value for money are being addressed through the various public finance management reforms that government is implementing. The reforms include among others the strengthening of capacity of Ministries, Agencies and Departments in project identification, design and appraisal processes. 

Parliament has also played its role in mitigating the above challenges through the committee on National Economy that developed guidelines to be followed when scrutinizing all loans that require approval of Parliament. These guidelines were adopted by Parliament and require performance information and impact assessment for previous projects by a ministry or government agency; evidence of project appraisal; consistency with the national planning framework; institutional framework for project implementation; procurement plan; evidence of implementation of the Resettlement Action plan; provision of counterpart funding; evidence of project readiness for implementation; and Financing mechanism among others. 

The other major challenge Parliament is facing is the limited oversight over the implementation of debt financed projects. This is largely attributed to limited funding of the oversight function of Parliament.

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Women In Leadership

Youth petition President Museveni over IGG; want her relieved of her duties

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IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: Mrs Irene Mulyagonja's performance has come under attack right from her employer and appointing authority to anti-corruption activists. Under pressure, she is reportedly seeking an early exit ahead of April 2020, back to the bench.

An organisation calling itself the Uganda Poor Youth Movement, has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to relieve Mrs Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza, of her duties over what they called “failure to fulfil her duties” something they claim, has “caused public resentment and lack of trust in the Inspectorate as the government ombudsman.”

A copy of the petition, seen by this news site, written by a one Sempala Zahid, the youth outfit’s Spokesperson, also accused the ombudsman of discriminatory application of justice.

“My complaint is that the Inspector General of Government has failed in her mandate to fulfil her functions as required of her and her office is tainted with corruption, favouritism and selective justice which she is meant to fight,” reads part of the petition dated 09th May 2019.

Lt Col Edith Nakalema the head of the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit and the IGG, Mrs Irene Mulyagonja, attending the 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at Lake Victoria Serena, Kigo. At the event, hosted by the IGG, the president, told Mulyagonja’s guests that due to persistent failures by the IGG’s office, he had been forced to appoint, Nakalema to oversee the IGG- an embarrassment by all means.

“Your Excellency the office of the Inspector General of Government has on several occasions shunned away from investigating and prosecuting some public officers even where there is glaring evidence and public outcry to have the said people prosecuted,” further reads the petition, adding that “where her office chooses to investigate, these people come out scot free at the end of investigations which has prompted the public to perceive the office of the Inspector General of government as one that is constituted on paper but rather toothless, a joke and dummy in actual sense.”

The youth organisation picks on what they say has been Mrs Irene Mulyagonja’s personal involvement and deliberately mismanaging of investigations against Bank of Uganda’s former Executive Director, Bank Supervision, Mrs Justine Bagyenda and the BoU Deputy Governor Dr. Louis Kasekende over illicit enrichment.

They also accuse her of declining to investigate the duo and  other BoU officials, even when there has been overwhelming evidence produced by the Attorney General and Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).

Mulyagonja contradicts herself on BoU investigations

Mulyagonja however recently a media conference said her office would not investigate BoU since parliament had not recommended so. She also denied mismanaging the investigations and clearing both Kasekende and Bagyenda, saying that the investigations are not yet complete.

This however contradicted her earlier statement to parliament as well as earlier statements made by her staff to this news site that the investigation was complete and that the report was in her office.

Part of the petition, addressed to the president

In November 2018, a one, Ms Twine Annet Kyakunda, the Director of Leadership Code, under whose docket the Bagyenda investigation falls, told this reporter that the report had been concluded and handed over to the IGG herself.

The delayed ‘Bagyenda report’, has also irked the Financial Intelligence Authority Executive Director, Mr Sydney Asubo.

“We requested them to give us a copy of their final report because we sent to them information. They are also supposed to give us feedback on the quality of the information we provide to them in all cases, so as to help us improve our own work where required,” he said via phone.

Asubo who is a former director of legal affairs and the chief anti-corruption prosecutor at the Inspectorate of Government said his organisation was “still waiting for feedback from the IGG almost one year down the road!”

“Not even a progress report or preliminary feedback.  Nothing,” said Asubo.

Relieve Mulyagonja of her duties

Quoting the president’s recent open statements about his dissatisfaction with the performance of the office of the IGG, the Uganda Poor Youth Movement, asked the president, who is also the appointing authority to relieve the ombudsman of her duties.

“Your Excellency you also publicly mentioned that people had lost confidence in the office of the Inspectorate of Government because its officers are compromised. You even went ahead and set up another parallel body to help investigate public officials which we believe was the right move in the circumstance but considering that funding of both bodies is from the public fund and yet they do the same work; in our view, we advise and recommend that you relieve Ms Irene Mulyagonja of her office since you are the appointing authority rather than leaving her in office when you are also well aware that she has failed at her Job,” petitioned Mr Sempala.  

Inspectorate infiltrated by wrong elements

The president has in the recent past openly blamed the IGG for failing in her responsibilities.

Lt Col Edith Nakalema, appointed by Museveni as the IGG’s ‘watchman’.

At the recently ended 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa at Lake Victoria Serena, Kigo, Museveni said that  due to incessant failures by the IGG’s office, he was forced to appoint his former, Lt Col Edith Nakalema to oversee the IGG.

He likened the IGG to a watchman, left to guard a village or home, who had failed in their job.

“I think she (IGG) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups,” he said adding that this is the reason he had to appoint a “watchman (Nakalema) to watch the watchman.”

The first time the president publicly chided the IGG was during the June 6th 2018, State of the Nation Address.

“What happened to the IGG? Why don’t the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG,” asked an angry Museveni.

“If it is not working, why should we keep it then? The IGG should reflect on this. Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers,” he said.

Weeks later, he would appoint Lt. Col Edith Nakalema to head a Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit.

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