One year later, lifestyle audit to catch corrupt officials yet to start, admits IGG Kamya

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The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has admitted that a year later, they are yet to implement the lifestyle audit to catch corrupt public officials.

“It was launched last year by the president and after the launch; the people went to the kitchen to prepare. We are currently preparing,”Kamya said on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre.

Last year, the ombudsman said she would go for government officials’ lifestyle by auditing it to be able to know how they amassed the wealth they have.

“We want teachers in posh schools to give home work to their 10-year-olds in 5th Grade to write down their fathers name, place of work, job title, and car they drive and its cost, a picture of their houses and discuss it openly in class,” she said.

“We may fail to prove in court that you took money through corrupt means but through the lifestyle audit method, the onus is on the suspect to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge that the wealth she/he acquired while in public of Uganda office which is not commensurate with his/her known income is legit.”

However, on Tuesday, the IGG admitted they are yet to implement the lifestyle audit because of the absence of a legal framework.

“We need a legal framework in which to operate the lifestyle audit, otherwise we would be challenged even in parliament. We have spent the best part of this year working on the legal framework in which to operate the audit. I want to assure the country that in a couple of months, the legal framework will be completed,”Kamya said.

She said as soon as the legal framework is finalized, the lifestyle audit will be implemented, urging Ugandans to support the audit.

The development comes on the backdrop of a warning by President Museveni to the ombudsman over the lifestyle audit.

Speaking during the launch of the audit last year, Museveni asked the IGG to go slow on the new strategy of fighting corruption.

“The lifestyle audit is good but be careful because we are still lucky that our corrupt people are corrupt here. But if they realise that their lifestyle is being audited, they will instead take what they stole abroad and it will be hard to track them,” Museveni said.

The president warned that by executing the lifestyle audit, government thieves might be prompted to invest their loot outside Uganda.

He urged the IGG to focus on performance and results-oriented audits of the money meant for government projects.

“This method of working with the victims has worked for the NRA. The NRA became very popular with the people because of this method,” he said.

Following the warning by President Museveni, many opined that the lifestyle audit will not see the light of the day.

It remains to be seen if the new way of fighting corruption will be implemented after a legal framework is put in place as the ombudsman said on Tuesday.

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