The issue: Wealth declaration
Our view: Participation of members of the public in this wealth verification exercise will greatly help in exposing the schemes orchestrated by some government officials, who buy assets and register them in the names of their children or spouse(s).
Early this week, Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja, announced that for the first time in the history of the fight against the cancer of corruption her office will be involving the general public in verifying wealth of public officials.
Justice Mulyagonja explained that her office had been receiving complaints from members of the public, who claim to know some public officials, who under-declare their wealth to the IGG and yet they know more of their assets in their communities where they stay.
It is against this backdrop that the ombudsman has called upon the general public to help her in the verification process, starting with officials from Bank of Uganda (BoU), ministry of Finance, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Health.
The move by the IGG is welcome given that many public officials own several properties, many of which are known to members of communities where they reside, but the same is under-declared when the online declaration window opens.
Therefore, with the innovation of involving the public in the verification process, the move will go a long way in fighting the cancer of corruption that is fast destroying our country. This is because the ombudsman will compare what each of the individual public officer has declared to her office with what the general public has revealed to them.
Subsequently, if there are any inconsistencies, which are much anticipated, the IGG will in corroboration with the yet to be created Leadership Code Tribunal, investigate the said officer with the aim of punishing them if they are found guilty.
The participation of members of the public in this wealth verification exercise will greatly help in exposing the schemes orchestrated by some government officials, who buy assets and register them in the names of their children or spouse(s).
Most importantly, Justice Mulyagonja said she has a remedy for such schemes as her office will incorporate other government agencies such as the National Identification and Registration Authority (Nira) to expose such officials.
We add our support in calling the general public to come out this month (March), which is the designated month for selected government officials to make online declaration of their assets and liabilities to the IGG’s office.It will take collective effort of everyone if we are to stamp out the cancer of corruption in our country.