Absence of IGG Hindering Our Work: George Bamugemereire

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the Deputy IGG, George Bamugemereire, says they cannot fully execute their mandate in the absence of a substantive IGG.
Justice George Bamugemereire, the Deputy IGG, addressing religious leaders

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The delayed appointment of a substantive Inspector General of Government-IGG is affecting the work of the Inspectorate of Government-IG. The office of the IGG fell vacant on July 5, 2020 following the expiry of the contract of Justice Irene Mulyagonja after serving for eight years.   

She was immediately appointed to the Court of Appeal. However, no replacement has been made leaving the Inspectorate of Government without a substantive IGG. Now, the Deputy IGG, George Bamugemereire, says they cannot fully execute their mandate in the absence of a substantive IGG.    

He told URN in an interview that after a careful study of the law they have established that there are certain things they can’t do in the absence of the IGG.  The function, mandate and authority of the IG are provided for in Chapter 13 of the Constitution.    

The IG is mandated with the responsibility of eliminating corruption, abuse of authority and of public office through investigating or causing investigation, arrest or cause arrest, prosecution, issuing orders and directions during investigations, inspect premises or property among others.

The Constitution provides that the IG shall comprise of the IGG and two Deputies appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament. It also states that one of the appointees shall be a person qualified to be appointed a judge of the High Court.

In the absence of the IGG, Bamugemereire says they can’t sign charge sheets, which require the consent of the IGG, Currently, all charge sheets are being forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) who has powers to prosecute.

He explained that the Inspectorate only carries out investigations and submit the papers to the DPP for approval. Bamugemereire also noted that the Appointment Board of the IG, which is supposed to be chaired by the IGG is dysfunctional.

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Bamugemereire, however, said that they continue to carry out investigations, analyze cases, issue reports, directives and orders.

“So, we have had to go to the DPP, so that the DPP appoints our lawyers in the Inspectorate of Government to prosecute under the license of the DPP because of that legal provision,” he added.

He, however, said despite the challenges the IG is running smoothly, adding that they are doing everything they can to keep it running.  

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Recently, some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) said the failure by President Yoweri Museveni to appoint a substantive IGG was undermining the fight against corruption.

  Media reports quoted Xavier Ejoyi, the country Director Action Aid saying whereas the third National Development Plan (NDP III) identifies corruption as one of the key obstacles to Uganda’s development and the country being ranked as the second most corrupt in the East African region, the situation has not been helped by the absence of a substantive IGG.

Cissy Kagaba, the Executive Director Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) also said that the absence of the IGG was an impediment to the Country’s anti-corruption fight, especially now that Uganda is headed to the 2021 general elections.

“Although members of the Leadership Code Tribunal were in July officially sworn in, they cannot effectively do their work without a fully functional Inspectorate of Government,” she said then. she then said.

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