By Gloria Nakiyimba
All elected and appointed leaders holding public office have up to 31st March to declare their income, assets and liabilities and failure to comply will lead to legal action.
The declaration exercise will start 1st March 2021 and is expected to end on 31 March .
According to the Leadership Code Act, 2002 elected and appointed leaders include the President, Ministers, Members of parliament, judges, the Inspector General of Government –IGG, National and district leaders among others.
Speaking at a media engagement held in Kampala on Wednesday, state minister for Ethics and integrity Reverend Father Simon Lokodo urged all leaders across the country to start declaring assets, incomes and liabilities within the specified period.
“I am here to ask all leaders who are required by law to take note of the time frame given by the inspectorate of government to proceed and declare their assets and liabilities in time” said minister Lokodo.
He warned that Government will move in to deal with leaders who will not comply with the requirement.
Minister Lokodo adds that “those of you who have been prone to negligence and therefore not performing this in time, this time we have set networks to disfavor you and we shall bring you to book”.
The leadership code tribunal has been put in place and has formalized procedures on how civil servants who have breached the act will be managed.
The tribunal is headed by Dr. Rose Karungojo who formerly worked with Uganda Human Rights commission.
The deputy IGG George Bamugemereire says there is a lot of effort to make it more difficult for somebody to be corrupt.
“ In fact that is what has led to the emergence of the phenomenon of syndicated corruption, that you can no longer steal alone, when you are going to steal you must bear the shame of having to disclose to some else and that’s where the whistle blower phenomenon has emerged” he said.
According to Bamugemereire, the inspectorate of government was able to investigate and conclude 1170 cases which included 18 high impact cases. He revealed that sanctions were issued to 280 public officers in the last financial year.
These included but were not limited to warnings and dismissals while 26 public officers were prosecuted within the same period.
Annet Twine the director Leadership Code Inspectorate of Government states that a newly appointed or elected leader is required to declare within three months after becoming a leader and thereafter every two years during the month March.
Leaders are also mandated to declare their assets on expiry of term of office once it happens six months after his or her last declaration
In terms of income , assets and liabilities the leadership code act 2002 requires the leaders to declare bank accounts in local and foreign financial institutions, cash or cash equivalent above Ugandan shillings five million , developed or undeveloped land inside and outside Uganda, vehicles, debtors, securities among others.