By Anne Mugisa
Uganda today joins over 148 countries in marking the International Anti-corruption Day, a day that has been observed annually since 2004.
It aims at taking stock of efforts at fighting corruption as well as raise awareness about the vice.
The Inspectorate said in a statement that it has made gains in the fight against corruption but also that the vice is becoming more sophisticated which calls for sophistication in investigations to counter it.
Sophisticated crime like illegal money transfers, according to the Inspectorate’s spokesperson, Munira Ali, is aided by Information Technology (IT).
Munira said the Inspectorate has stepped up public sensitisation about corruption which has led to an increase in the cases being reported.
For example, Munira said, in 2011, a total of 2369 cases were reported. The number had increased to 2,575 in 2012 and in the first six months of 2013 already 1,363 cases were reported. These are a combination of graft cases, complaints to the ombudsman on maladministration and violation of the leadership code.
The IGG’s Directorate of regional offices is also showing an increase in the number of cases being reported to them, according to the statement. For instance in 2010, it received 1,141 cases and 2011 it received 1,234 cases and in 2012, the new cases had increased to 1,365.
There are currently 16 regional offices, with the latest serving seven districts opened in Kampala last week.
It also pointed out that the number of cases they have handled and concluded have also been increasing from 941 in 2010 to 1,107 in 2012. A number of arrests some of them high-profile have also been made and prosecutions increased.
According to a statement, the Inspectorate has also tried to get closer to the people by establishing offices in the different parts of the country and set up regional offices for people there to report cases.
It says, however, that some challenges are hampering its operations. Inadequate staffing, delays in courts, inadequate logistics, absence of leadership code tribunal and hostile witnesses are some of the challenges the Inspectorate is facing.
It also cited other constraints as corruption and negative attitudes of the partner institutions supposed to fight corruption, enforcing leadership code outside Uganda and unrealistically high public expectation.
The Inspectorate wants the Government to quickly establish the Leadership Code Tribunal and also amend the Inspectorate of Government Act to grant it corporate status.
According to their statement, without the tribunal, the IGG cannot take appropriate action against leaders who violate the leadership code, under declare property or fail to satisfactorily explain its acquisition.