Uganda’s State minister for ethics and integrity Simon Lokodo has told parliament that government is considering making the Inspectorate of government a body corporate with powers to sue and be sued.
Lokodo said that this is aimed at making the Inspectorate stronger and more efficient and added that the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity is making consultations on granting the Inspectorate body corporate status.
The MPs on the Legal and parliamentary affairs committee before which the minister was appearing asked the minister what the executive is waiting for agreeing that not being a body corporate has derailed the Inspectorate’s work and led to duplication.
But Lokodo told the MPs that a number of factors need to be considered and that they include resources saying that if the Inspectorate is to be given the powers to sue and be sued it needs resources to handle its cases.
He said that the Inspectorate has already submitted a write up to the directorate of ethics and integrity and added that the directorate will conclude consultations soon. The inspectorate has been raising the issue in its reports to parliament over the last years saying that not being a body corporate has continuously hindered the progress of civil cases handled by the inspectorate.
In their reports of 2010, 2012 and 2013, the Inspectorate argues that the cases where it is a party, it is represented by the Attorney General and that in the matters where the AG has a different opinion; cases have been brought to conclusion by settlement or withdrawal.
IGG Irene Mulyagonja has on different occasions said that the Inspectorate needs to be a body corporate if it is to effectively execute its mandate. She told the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee last year that the IG’s work has been hindered with different government agencies and departments interfering with its investigations and quashing its reports.
Last year, High Court quashed the Inspectorate’s report on Karuma and in the same year, Uganda Development Bank dragged the Inspectorate to court after its investigation in the alleged mismanagement of funds to a tune of 11.5 million dollars.