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With 82 civil servants charged, gov’t pats self on the back in fight against graft

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With 82 civil servants charged, gov’t pats self on the back in fight against graft

The fight to root out corruption has not spared Town Clerks and District Engineers among others.

Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema

Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the boss of the SH-ACU is the one behind the success stories

In what appears to be a report card of its own activities in the fight against corruption, the State House Anti Corruption Unit (SH-ACU) has revealed that it has prosecuted at least 93 people on charges relating to corruption and abuse of office.

In a report to the public released yesterday at the Uganda Media Centre, the government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the SH-ACU has investigated and taken to court 82 public officials on different charges while the remaining 11 are private individuals.

Opondo hinted that the government’s move to cause the arrest of senior ranking public servants including those at the permanent Secretary level, is a sign that any government official who fails the integrity test shall face interdiction.

Since its inception on December 10, 2018, the SH-ACU has received complaints amounting to 58,415 cases. Out of these, 8,022 have been concluded while 4,017 are currently being investigated.

Ofwono told Journalists that these 93 people have been charged with corruption related offences ranging from; abuse of office, causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, corruption, diversion of public funds, embezzlement and impersonation.

Of the 82, 3 are Bank Of Uganda staff who were arrested over the alleged irregular printing and transfer of UGX currency notes.

Other interdicted public servants, 9 are post bank officials, 11 came from different departments including Ministry of Lands, URA and thr Directorate of Public Prosecution, while 18 came from Commissions and Statutory Bodies.

District local governments have not been spared either. Among the districts with a dark spot due to corruption include the staff of Amolatar, Lira, Dokolo, Mbarara and Alebtong.
14 officials from municipal and Town Councils of Mbarara, Arua, Tororo, Lira, Bugembe and Kasangati.

The charging of Dr. Nassali Lukwago, the embattled former Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission, as well as the charging of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Gaming and Lotteries Board Edgar Tabaro, comes to mind when one speaks of the government’s resolve to take the fight to the hightest level.

The fight to root out corruption has not spared Town Clerks and District Engineers among others.

In the private sector, 3 pharmaceutical executives from MTK Uganda limited have been charged with causing financial loss to government, conspiracy to defraud and forgery in relation to supply 190,000 doses of foot and mouth vaccine worth over UGX 1bn to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Eight individuals who were masquerading as State House Anti Corruption Unit staff are also among those under investigations.

According to Opondo, the SH-ACU recovered UGX782million, of which UGX82m had been extorted from innocent Ugandans by labor externalization companies, while UGX700 million was recovered from the National Gaming and Lotteries Board after being irregularly paid out.

Ofwono says the Unit is putting in more efforts to ensure that Ugandans in the Middle East are safe while those that intend to go there don’t fall victim of fraudsters through extortion or trafficking.

“Labour export companies have so far refunded over UGX87 million received from complainants whom they failed to externalize, 6 bodies of persons who died in the Middle East have been repatriated, 4 trafficked girls and women have been rescued and 5 proprietors of labour externalization companies have been arraigned in court on human trafficking charges,” said Ofwono.

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