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IGG Wants Leadership Code Act Amended

Justice Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government is appealing to Parliament to set up a tribunal to streamline the Leadership Code Act.

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Justice Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government is appealing to Parliament to set up a tribunal to streamline the Leadership Code Act.

The constitution provides for a tribunal that handles complaints regarding the Leadership Code Act. However, the power of the IGG has on several occasions been over-ruled by both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court.

The Leadership Code Act sets limits on the financial behaviour of public servants which has gaps that are yet to be filled. It's on this basis that many leaders have won cases against the IGG in both the constitutional and Supreme courts questioning its powers to sue them.

In April 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the removal of John Ken Lukyamuzi from the Seventh Parliament.  Lukyamuzi had been dragged to court by the IGG for not declaring his assets, incomes and liabilities.

In a related case, the IGG in 2004 asked President Yoweri Museveni to dismiss Fox Odoi, the former presidential legal advisor who is now an MP, over similar charges. The Constitutional Court to which Odoi petitioned ruled that while the Leadership Code empowered the IGG to direct the President to dismiss persons who have breached the code, it fettered the discretion provided to the President by the Constitution to exercise disciplinary control over any of the officers listed in the above provisions of the Constitution.

Mulyagonja today said her office is facing many challenges which are hindering her work.

Munira Ali, the IGG's spokesperson adds that the Constitutional Court also recently ruled that the IGG is not a statutory corporate body that has powers to sue or be sued. This makes them incapable of independently handling its civil cases.

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In April 2012, the constitutional court also ruled that the office of the Inspectorate of Government does not have powers to prosecute suspects implicated for corruption and abuse of office until it is fully constituted.

The ruling was made in the petition filed by three ministers challenging their trial by the IGG for corruption and causing a financial loss to government.

In 2011, Ministers Sam Kuteesa, Mwesigwa Rukutana and John Nasasira petitioned the constitutional court after they were charged by the IGG with abuse of office and corruption during the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting-CHOGM leading to a financial loss of 14 billion shillings.

In their petition, the trio challenged the powers of the deputy IGG Raphael Baku, who was then acting AGG, to prosecute them. A full constitution of the inspectorate includes one IGG and two deputies.

Munira says even with a newly appointed IGG, the Inspectorate is still in need of a second deputy. Currently the IGG cases are handled by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions which Munira says has no obligation to take on their cases for prosecution.

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