Several local governments in central Uganda have been named alongside the country’s police force as the two most corrupt public offices in latest reports compiled by the Inspectorate of Government.
In the findings that were released to Parliament yesterday, Inspector General of Government Olive Beti Kamya reported that Kampala and Wakiso districts registered the most complaints of corruption made against them over the last 18 months.
The data is clustered around three separate six-month periods during which time the ombudsman looked into complaints about institutional graft: January – June 2022; July – December 2022 and January – June 2023.
Ms Kamya indicated that her office is trying to turn the tide against widespread corruption in government — which costs Uganda at least Shs9 trillion annually — through prevention.
“In the execution of its mandate, the Inspectorate of Government has prioritised prevention as the main approach in the elimination of corruption and promotion of strict adherence to the rule of law,” she said.
Ms Kamya said: “This will be achieved through mobilisation of citizens to own the war against corruption and empowering citizens to have a mindset change towards the evil of corruption.”
Between January and June last year, Uganda’s most urbanised districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, Mbale, Arua and Jinja were found to be the five most notorious perpetrators of corruption.
In the following six months of the same year, Kampala and Wakiso again led the roll of shame, taking first and second slots in the IGG’s ranking of corruption in public offices. In order of notoriety, they were followed by Kabarole, Jinja and Soroti districts.
Right behind the districts sits perennial offender, the Uganda Police Force. In stark contrast to the police, the other armed forces; Prisons Service and the Army maintained their upright reputation, being ranked among the top five least corrupt government departments.
Amongst the ten most corrupt agencies of government, the Finance ministry placed third behind the police. It was closely followed by the ministry of Lands and universities/tertiary institutions, respectively.
In order of notoriety, the bottom half of the top ten is completed by headteachers, primary and secondary schools; the Judiciary; Education ministry; Kampala Capital City Authority and then hospitals/health centres.
For the period between January and June this year, the IGG found Kampala, Wakiso, Luwero, Mbarara, Mbale and Kabale as the five most corrupt districts.
The northern and eastern Uganda districts of Napak, Otuke, Serere, Amolatar, Omoro and Alebtong were among the ten least corrupt local governments which also included Kazo, Mitooma, Luuka and Sheema.
In the same reports, it was noted that only Shs7.99 billion was recovered from 3,504 corruption complaints registered between January last year and June this year. There were also only 43 convictions out of the 92 prosecutions concluded.
Minutes after she received the bi-annual reports on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Esther Afoyochan, one of Parliament’s ten commissioners, asked the IGG to pay attention to festering corruption in President Museveni’s latest pet project for rural economic growth — the multibillion shilling parish development model (PDM).
“I also want to ask on a personal note that you take a lot of interest in the PDM. A lot of money is going into PDM, but there is a lot of siphoning… you will be shocked at the things happening there,” she said.
Ms Afoyochan is also the Woman MP for Zombo District.
Officials from the IGG office decried the persistently late release of funds, understaffing and the very old vehicles assigned to the IGG’s office, which increases maintenance costs. These costs eat into the anti-corruption agency’s already tight budget.
Rent of premises was named as the other cost-driver, with officials asking for quick completion of the ombudsman’s headquarter building in Kampala.