New Leaders Must Register, Declare Wealth Online

New leaders must register, declare wealth online
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 26 Oct 2020

All public leaders have been directed to register and declare their wealth through the Inspectorate of Government (IG)’s online declaration system.

Leaders are by law required to declare their wealth within three months after assuming the positions and six months after exiting the offices, and every after two years.

The law requires all political leaders from sub-county level up to the President as well as executive and accounting officers in the government ministries, departments and agencies to declare their wealth to the IG.

The director-in-charge of the Leadership Code at the IG, Ms Annet Twine, explained that the new module caters for all new leaders to register on the online system in order to access the form to declare their income, assets and liabilities.

She revealed that those are already in the system will be required to register through another segment called ‘self-invitation’ which will be inaugurated by January.

The deputy IGG, Mr George Bamugemereire, described the system as an invaluable tool in the enforcement of the Leadership Code because of its inherent capacity to hold a huge volume of data safely, securely and in a manner which it can be easily analysed.

“The Inspectorate of Government (IG) team is working with NITA (U) to develop protocols, starting with the land registry to allow electronic synchronisation of the declared data with the databases in other government agencies such as URA and URSB. This process will help to validate leaders’ data as well as track the illicitly acquired assets which will in turn ease the process of investigations and asset recovery as the case may be,” Mr Bamugemereire said.

He observed that upon acquiring leadership positions in public offices, majority of leaders do not fulfil the legal requirement of declaring their wealth.

Challenges

“The challenge is that the requirement of declaring is not well known. Many people go through all the processes to take up offices but they do not declare their wealth yet it is in their own interest,” Mr Bamugemereire explained.

He added: “Upon exit, they too have to show their wealth within six months but the ultimate goal is to promote transparency and accountability in leadership positions.”

With the Leadership Code Tribunal in place, Mr Bamugemereire said all those who fail to comply with the legal requirement will be sanctioned.

While launching the module of the Leadership Code Tribunal in Kampala on Friday, the State minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo, said the new digital system is a step forward in the fight against corruption.

Dr Roselyn Karugonjo- Segawa, the chairperson of the Leadership Code Tribunal, said that they will execute their mandate of adjudicating on matters related to breaches in line with the law.