In a statement released by the organisation, it was revealed that Uganda’s Inspectorate of Government (IG) was successful in recovering Sh2.3 billion from officials who had been stealing. On Africa Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed on July 11 each year, the following announcements were made.
“The IG recommended a recovery of the accumulative amount of Shs33.2b as of December 2022. A total of Shs2.3b was recovered and deposited into the IG Asset Recovery Account,” the statement, which was signed by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya, read in part.
The effectiveness of recovering assets syphoned off by dishonest officials has been called into doubt by the ombudsman’s declaration.
Mr Marlon Agaba, the executive director at Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), said: “We are doing very poorly when it comes to recovery. Even if all the Shs33b was recovered, we would still be doing poorly, and we wouldn’t have recovered even one percent of what is stolen.”
“The mandate is scattered. We do not have a central agency for recovery. We do not have a standalone law for the recovery of stolen assets. The Proceeds of Crime Bill hasn’t yet reached advanced stages. Without a law, and a central institution to do that, we shall continue doing poorly,” he added.
Uganda loses close to Sh10 trillion annually to direct and indirect corruption, according to a 2021 study by the IG.
Based on cases that were prosecuted and won, Ms. Kamya estimated that she performed above average at a 53 percent rate.
Between July and December 2022, 375 cases of corruption in local governments were handled by her office, according to her.
“The IG established the Directorate of Special Investigations to investigate high-profile cases. The IG investigated and completed six high-profile cases and 108 corruption cases in MDAs (ministries, departments, and agencies),” the statement read.
The Inter-Agency Forum was established by the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity to improve coordination among all anti-corruption agencies in order to address the fragmented work.
“The strategic partnerships have promoted efficiency and created synergies to share information, as well as avoid overlaps and duplication of work. These have also ensured efficient and effective utilisation of public resources, promoted equity, transparency, accountability, and value for money,” Ms Kamya argued.
Spot checks were mentioned by the ombudsman as one strategy she is using to combat corruption.
But the main strategy will be to “employ all citizens at all levels to serve as ambassadors of anti-corruption.”
“This approach will focus on prevention through advocacy, education, and community mobilisation. This approach is intended to incite the population against public officers whose actions of corruption are manifested through lifestyles not commensurate with their known income,” Ms Kamya said.
About the Africa Anti-corruption Day
The purpose of Africa Anti-Corruption Day is to reflect on the initiatives taken by African Union members to combat corruption.
Although Uganda has many organisations, including the IG, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), and the Office of the Auditor General, the amount of money recovered from theft is still small compared to the amount lost.
Only Shs241b had been recovered over three years by the IG, Auditor General, and SHACU, according to a scorecard of the recoveries that was made public in December 2022.
The theme for Uganda’s celebration of the day was “Strategies and mechanisms to reduce the cost of corruption in Uganda.”