BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI
ARUA. The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has introduced a deadly strategy aimed at easing the fight against corruption in the country.
The strategy which involves the use of community monitoring groups has since its inception, left corrupt officials counting their days to jail.
This deadly move was unveiled to local leaders in the West Nile region by Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria, the Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG) during a stakeholder meeting at Desert Breeze Hotel in Arua Town on Monday.
During the meeting, Achan said in order to address the pandemic of corruption, a new strategy of involving the community has been derived by the government agency.
“The new regime at the IG intends to continue chasing, investigating, prosecuting, jailing the corrupt and recovering the loot but much more importantly, we intend to focus more on prevention rather than cure so that we don’t concentrate more on postmortem. To achieve this, we have already started to recruit all Ugandans into the war against corruption,” Achan said.
“We have rebranded the war from being an executive war; from being the war of Parliament, Judiciary, IG, NGOs and Anti-Corruption agencies to a war of the citizens of Uganda who are being more frustrated spectators. We are mobilizing and empowering the citizens to be the frontliners in the battle like we did with the war against HIV/AIDS and the war against COVID-19. We should give corruption a face so that everybody can recognize it, despise it, hate it, avoid it, fight it, name and shame the corrupt,” Achan emphasized.
Achan made the remarks shortly after rewarding a total of five community monitoring groups in Koboko district for their exceptional performance in monitoring the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF III) projects and other government programs in the district.
The groups received certificates of appreciation from Achan who assured them of safety and continuity of their job.
The community groups were part of the several monitoring teams trained by the Inspectorate of Government in collaboration with Koboko Civil Society Network (KOCISONET) and Partners in Community Transformation (PICOT).
“This morning in Koboko, I was telling the leadership that we need to empower the community monitoring groups by equipping them with information so that they can come out to demand for accountability from an informed perspective because they are knowledgeable with information at hand,” Achan told the district chairperson, the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), DISOs and RDCs who turned up for the meeting.
Williams Anyama, the Moyo district chairperson who also doubles as the chairperson of West Nile Development Forum, an umbrella association of all the district chairpersons in West Nile commended the new team of IG for engaging the local leadership of the region in the fight against corruption.
“The engagement has enhanced our understanding of our responsibilities in the fight against corruption. I also want to appreciate the President for putting the right people in the leadership of the Inspectorate of Government. We can see, since the new appointments we are seeing the relationship between the office of IG and the local governments is improving. This is so far in the shortest time, I would say about three major engagements with IG have been held which I’m proud of when it comes to the fight against corruption,” Anyama said.
However, Humphrey Benson Otim, the Terego district CAO asked the officials from the IG to interest themselves in investigating the powerful and corrupt officials in the government.
He said some powerful people who have lots of money have resorted to using the wealth they have amassed to strategically sit in an angle where fighting them becomes difficult.
According to Otim, corruption is a sin whether small or big, a reason the IG should treat the corrupt equally.