Have IGG Kamya and deputy Okiria fallen out?

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Have IGG Kamya and deputy Okiria fallen out?
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On May 3, 2024, Dr Patricia Achan Okiria, the Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG), assumed the presidency of the East African Association of the Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA) for a two-year term.

EAAACA is the umbrella association of anti-corruption institutions in East African Community countries.

The appointment took place during EAAACA's 15th annual general meeting at the Haile Grand Addis Ababa, following the approval of the general assembly.

The gathering brought together leaders of anti-corruption agencies from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Djibouti, South Sudan, Burundi, and Somalia to discuss strategies for enhancing regional cooperation in combating corruption.

After being entrusted with the role, Dr Okiria took to X formally as Twitter, sharing the news and expressing her commitment to the fight against corruption.

"I was sworn in as the new president of EAAACA after receiving approval from the General Assembly on May 3, 2024. I am honoured and ready to strengthen the fight against corruption in Eastern Africa and beyond, so help me God," Dr. Okiria wrote.

However, Dr Okiria's message didn't sit well with her superior, Beti Kamya, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), who also took to the same platform to provide what appeared to be a clarification of Dr Okiria's tweet.

Kamya questioned Dr. Okiria's leadership position, fueling speculation of a rift between the two officials.

"I want to set the record straight that Uganda, as a country, was elected President of EAAACA, taking over from Rwanda, while Kenya, as a country, was elected Vice President. These positions are held by countries, not individuals," Kamya wrote.

This statement triggered an online debate, with many people questioning whether there is an ongoing conflict between the two leaders who head an independent institution responsible for eliminating corruption, abuse of authority, and misconduct in public office.

In an interview with the Nile Post, Dr Okiria clarified that she attended the meeting in her capacity as Deputy IGG, representing Uganda, and was elected to lead the regional anti-corruption body.

"I think it was just misconstrued. I was there representing Uganda as Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG). When I attend such meetings, I attend in my capacity as Deputy IGG representing Uganda. Uganda being voted in means the IGG is going to be the president. I am the one who attended those meetings, and I will continue to attend in that capacity," She stated.

Dr Okiria downplayed the tweet, referring to it as a misunderstanding, and suggested that a formal engagement could be arranged to provide further clarity.

She emphasised the customary practice of representing one's country at such events, carrying its flag, and advocating for its interests. Dr. Okiria recommended reaching out to Beti Kamya for additional information, although attempts to contact he was unsuccessful at the time of press.

"I think it is just a misunderstanding. When I attended, I represented Uganda, carrying the flag of Uganda. I am the president of the Eastern Africa Association of Anti-corruption Authorities (EAAACA), representing Uganda," Dr Okiria noted.

She also stated that her boss might have felt overshadowed because everyone was congratulating her as an individual, whereas she was representing the country.

Dr. Okiria highlighted the importance of Uganda's involvement in these forums.

By assuming the presidency of the Eastern Africa Association of Anti-corruption Authorities (EAAACA), Uganda would have the opportunity to set standards, benchmark with other nations, exchange information, strengthen investigations, and enhance prosecution through mutual assistance.

"It will significantly elevate the country's profile in the fight against corruption, as Uganda will be viewed as a best practice and offer strategic leadership, “she stated.

Regarding the congratulatory messages she received, Dr. Okiria clarified that the accolades were directed towards Uganda as a whole, rather than solely to her as an individual.

Uganda took over the presidency from Rwanda and will host the next annual general meeting in November. Kenya was appointed Vice-President of the EAAACA Executive Committee.

EAAACA was established on September 8, 2007, in Kampala, Uganda, when the heads of the former Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (now Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission), the Prevention and Combating Corruption Bureau of Tanzania, and the Inspectorate of Government of Uganda signed the Kampala Declaration of EAAACA.

The association was officially launched in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 9, 2007, with the signing of the EAAACA Constitution.

Subsequently, the Office of the Ombudsman of Rwanda, the Special Brigade of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Burundi, the Federal Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) of Ethiopia, the Inspectorate General of the State of Djibouti, and the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC) joined the Association.

The association aims to provide a platform for mutual assistance in training, detection, investigation, prosecution, and the exchange of information, intelligence, experiences, and good practices to combat corruption in all its forms.

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