Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uncertainty looms large at the Inspectorate of Government as the contracts of the two deputy Inspector Generals of Government [IGG] near the end.
The country has been without a substantive IGG for close to eight months now, since the expiry of Justice Irene Mulyagonja’s contract on July 5, 2020. She had earlier been nominated to the Court of Appeal by President Yoweri Museveni back in October 2019.
Since then, the two deputies; George Bamugemereire and Fauzat Mariam Wangadya, have been running the anti-corruption agency as it awaits the appointment of a substantive head.
However, Bamugemereire, who was appointed in March 2012 is to see out his contract in two weeks, having been renewed once, as the law allows while Wangadya was appointed five months later.
Her four-year contract has since been renewed by a maximum of one year and is also due to expire in July. The two deputies, under Justice Mulyagonja served the first fully constituted Inspectorate of Government following a successful petition by cabinet ministers Sam Kutesa, John Nasasira and Mwesigwa Rukutana against the earlier one, that it had no mandate to prosecute them.
The ministers were facing accusations of causing financial loss to the government during the preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting [CHOGM] in Kampala.
They reasoned that without the two substantive deputies, the inspectorate was not fully constituted. Also, at least one of the three must be at a level of justice of the High court by training and practice.
The state minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo says the absence of a substantive IGG has made the institution highly incapacitated.
He however hopes that by the time the president constitutes his new government after swearing-in in May, it will include a fully-fledged IG, adding that the nomination process for Justice Lydia Mugambe stalled.
In September 2020, information widely circulated that the president had nominated Justice Mugambe as the new IGG. Fr. Lokodo says since the nomination of Mugambe was not communicated to other organs, it was not completed.
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Bamugemereire says there should be no cause for panic and pressure on the president to appoint a substantive IGG and deputies saying, that operationally the institution is doing well. He says they have more than 450 staff, including research and prosecution staff enough to do the work.
He says that even the past IGGs that include Augustine Ruzindana, Jotham Tumwesigye, Faith Mwondha, all performed well without fully being constituted as per the laws, including deputy IGG Raphael Baku who served in acting capacity after the departure of justice Mwondha.
Bamugemereire contends that this is just a requirement of the laws and has nothing to do with operational competency.