Government challenged to operationalize the Leadership Code Tribunal in fight against corruption

The Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have called upon the Ugandan government to fully operationalize the Leadership Code Tribunal.

Anti Corruption Coalition's Cissy Kagaba argues that, "The absence of a Leadership Code Tribunal has made it difficult for the Inspectorate of Government to dispose off cases, attend to appeals and adjudicate in arbitrations."

The CSOs say the government has also not enacted the Witness Protection Law to safeguard whistleblowers who in most cases are key witnesses in corruption related matters.

All this was revealed in a study conducted by the Anti-Corruption Coalition  entitled, "Assessing the status of implementation of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010 & the Leadership Code Act, 2002." 

The study also discovered, troublingly, that the public does not have trust in many state institutions. This distrust has led many whistleblowers to making multiple reports to different state institutions which ends up causing overlap and wastage of time and resources chasing the same leads.

The law provides for the protection of persons who provide information to the inspectorate. Under section 24 of the Leadership Code Act (as amended) informers and witnesses are protected and it is prohibited for their identity to be disclosed.

Unfortunately, during court proceedings or hearings, these individuals become witnesses, attempts to conceal their identities have been tried before, but this has not always been successful.

The study also found that many potential whistleblowers are deterred from coming forward because they are not sufficiently compensated for their coming forward. The Act provides that 5% of all monies recovered at the successful prosecution of a corruption related matter go to the whistleblower but this is hardly sufficient.

Although the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity minister signed off on October 18, 2018 on the Leadership Code (Declaration Form) Regulations, it is yet to come into force. The code enables people to seek information about the wealth declared by leaders.

It is in light of this that the Anti-Corruption Coalition, Transparency International Uganda and the Human Rights Centre Uganda has called upon the Ugandan government to fully operationalize the Leadership Code Tribunal.

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