The Anti-corruption Unit of State House has so far interdicted 82 public officials for corruption and made a recovery of Shs 700m which was irregularly paid out in betting as well Shs 87m which had been extorted by labor export companies.
This was revealed by the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo on Wednesday while addressing the press in Kampala.
Since its inception in December last year, the Unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema has received a total of 58,415 complaints, 4,017 of which are currently under investigation.
Ofwono told reporters that 93 person have so far been charged in court on corruption related offences ranging from abuse of office, causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, corruption, diversion of public funds, embezzlement and impersonation.
Out of the 93, a total of 82 are public offices and these were accordingly interdicted, while 11 are private individuals.
The 82 include 3 officials (Directors) from the Bank of Uganda who were arrested in connection with the currency cargo that was flown into the country irregularly. The interdicted public servants also include 9 from Post Bank, 11 from Ministry of Land, URA and the Directorate of Public Prosecution, 18 from Commissions and Statutory Boards staff.
Some 22 officials are from local governments of Alebtong, Amolatar, Dokolo, Lira and Mbarara, and 14 from municipal and town councils of Tororo, Mbarara, Aruam Bugembe abd Kasangati.
They include Accounting Officers (at the level of Permanent Secretary), Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), a Mayor, Chief Finance Officers, District Engineers and Town Clerks.
In the case of private individuals, those charged include 3 officials of MTK who were charged with causing financial loss to government, conspiracy to defraud and forgery in relation to supply of 190,000 doses of Foot and Mouth Vaccine worth Shs 1bn to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Eight other individuals were masquerading as State House Anti-corruption Unit staff.
The Unit formed by President Museveni says it has so far secured 5 convictions 3 of which are related to bribery and 2 related to impersonation.
“The Unit has also recently intervened in matters to do with labor externalization after it received numerous complaints relating to human trafficking, fleecing and extortion of Ugandans by labor exporting companies,” Ofwono Opondo said.
As a result, Shs 87m which had been paid by complainants (who did not get jobs as promised) to the labor export companies has since been refunded to them. Also, six bodies of Ugandans who died while working abroad have also been repatriated back to Uganda, as well as 4 girls who has been trafficked.
Five (5) proprietors of labor externalization companies have been arraigned in court on charges relating to human trafficking.
The report by the Unit indicates that 35,280 cases were referred to the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for administrative management. These cases involve no corruption related complaints or those that are of corruption in nature but are already under investigation by other agencies.
These cases relate to among others land compensation and court delays. The Unit states however that after referral, it continues to coordinate with the relevant agencies to make sure the complaint is handles and the complainant is updated.
President Museveni launched the Anti-corruption Unit in December, with a mandate to receive and act on complaints relating to corruption.
Museveni described the Unit as the “missing link” in government’s efforts to weed out corruption which has over the years stalled service delivery.
“I decided to reinforce the IGG’s Office. The institutions to fight corruption are there but the people manning them are the problem. These departments have been infiltrated by weevils,” the President said last year.
“There was a missing link. I needed an office headed by a fearless, upright, a bit quarrelsome, a bit talkative person. To think Nakalema can conceal a wrong, that is very impossible,” Museveni later told a news conference at his Office where the Unit will operate.
He said that unlike the IGG’s Office where whistleblowers were required to appear physically to lodge complaints, the new Unit will have a provision of taking phone calls and text messages.