By Pascal Kwesiga
THE secretary to the treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, has apologized to Ugandan tax payers for the billions of money lost through corruption in government.
Muhakanizi who was appointed secretary to the treasury last year also repented on behalf of the finance ministry for the colossal sums of money lost to ghost civil servants over years.
Muhakanizi was deputy secretary to the treasury before his promotion.
“I sincerely apologize to you for these ghosts and I have to confess that there was laxity in the system. I was there (finance ministry) but the way the system was you could not catch anybody,” he said.
He was speaking during the launch of the fourth annual report on tracking corruption trends in Uganda using the data tracking mechanism at hotel Africana in Kampala.
The government has been paying salaries to hundreds of ghost civil servants over years. Muhakanizi said the ministry of finance is tightening controls to stem the theft of the tax payers’ money.
The state minister for ethics and integrity in the Office of the President, Simon Lokodo, said ‘silence’ is one of the major forms of corruption Uganda is grappling with.
“You are the most corrupt for keeping quiet while money is being stolen. You should demand for accountability,” he said.
The deputy Inspector General of Government, George Bamugemereire, decried the low demand for accountability in Uganda.
“The people are not demanding accountability from their leaders. There is need for more sensitization.”