Kampala, Uganda | URN | Anti-corruption government agencies have detailed strides made in the fight against corruption and measures taken to curb the vice.
During a conference to mark the International Anti-corruption day in Kampala, the agencies outlined their achievements and progress in fighting corruption.
The conference was held under the theme; “Promoting social accountability through active citizenry.”
Present to take stock of the achievements in the collective fight against corruption was the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP], the Deputy Inspector General of Government, the Executive Director of the PPDA and the Deputy Executive Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority.
The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution says it has endeavored to involve the citizens in the fight against corruption by setting up a complaints desk managed at a very senior level by a Principal senior assistant DPP.
Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP] says the desk receives all complaints especially from the field regarding the conduct of state attorneys. She says the directorate has set up a victim and witness protection department which is vital in the absence of a witness protection law.
Abodo says most corrupt officials are very connected so there is a need to protect witnesses since no case can be successfully prosecuted without witnesses.
The DPP reveals her office has institutionalized the administrative sanctions and enforcement unit to ensure that those being convicted are not in office for the next ten years.
She realized that this office has been critical in following up to make sure that those who are being investigated are interdicted and then dismissed if found guilty. She notes that these sanctions were being flouted.
In the last two years, Abodo says that the directorate has maintained a conviction rate of 72% from over 128 cases at the Anti-Corruption court.
Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the State House Anti-corruption Unit head says the call center that was set up in December 2018 has officers from different regions that can interact with citizens in a language they understated. She says they receive over 300 complaints.
The complaints received, shared and solved are over 60,000 so far and 185 public officers are in courts of law.
She says the detectives attached to the unit have been given 2-4 weeks to conclude a case and this has been achieved.
According to the Deputy Inspector General of Government Mariam Wangadya, the inspectorate has set up a directorate of special investigations to expeditiously investigate organized, syndicated and high profile cases of corruption of over 1 Billion Shillings.
It has investigated 40 high profile cases and other 192 cases in ministries, departments and agencies.
These investigations led to the recovery of 10.8Bn, prosecution of 94 persons and administrative sanctions on 1,285 government officers.
The executive director of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Agency [PPDA] Benson Turamye says the PPDA has handled administrative reviews where the bidders may feel that the procurement process has not been fair.
He notes that for the last two years, the PPDA handled 103 cases and irregularities were found in 37 cases.
A big stride the PPDA is making he adds is developing the electronic government procurement system to reduce human interaction between bidders and government officials.
The system is being piloted in 12 high spend government agencies and is set to be rolled out to 300 government entities in two years.