Kampala- The Inspectorate of Government is battling 4,620 unresolved complaints under investigation mainly corruption cases.
The backlog is comprised of cases of corruption, abuse of office and breach of the Leadership Code among others. They were carried forward from the bi-annual reporting period of January-June 2017 to July-December of the same year.
The revelations are contained in the bi-annual report for January-June 2017 that the Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, submitted to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, last month.
The report indicates that the number of outstanding cases in the previous reporting period of June-December 2016, stood at 4,573 meaning the current backlog reflects a growth of 47 complaints.
The IGG states that 1,560 new complaints were registered between January-June 2017 bringing the total number of cases to 6,145.
Of these, 1,525 complaints were investigated and concluded leaving a backlog of 4,620 cases that have been brought forward into the current period.
The IGG spokesperson, Ms Ali Munira, told Daily Monitor that they are overstretched due to shortage of the technical manpower to conclude investigation and verification of all the complaints received within the stipulated six-month reporting period.
Ms Munira said the IGG’s office both at headquarters and regional level has 245 technical staff with a manpower-case ratio of 1:56.
This means each technical staff handles at least 56 cases within six months.
“The IGG has been working hard to handle all the complaints received but our technical team at the headquarters and in the 16 regions is overwhelmed. There is a minimum of five technical staff at each of the regions which makes it difficult for them to fully investigate all the cases,” Ms Munira said.
She said the last time the IGG’s office recruited new staff was 2015 and with budget constraints, there has not been money to conduct routine training yet most of the new recruits were fresh university graduates.
However, she declined to reveal the sufficient number of staff IGG needs to dispose of and prevent further backlog.
From the 1,525 cases whose investigations were concluded in January-June 2017, 12 suspects were arrested.
The IGG report indicates the arrests were mainly in regard to cases soliciting bribes, embezzlement, false accounting, abuse of office and corruption.
The report shows the IGG had concluded prosecution of 14 cases between January and June 2017.
Four of these were convictions, two acquittals while six were withdrawn for various reasons.
Some of the cases were withdrawn after the suspects refunded the stolen money while two cases were closed after confirmation of death of the accused persons.
A total of 57 cases were still under prosecution or pending in the Anti-Corruption Court as of June 30, 2017.
Notable among them is the case of former Works minister Abraham Byandala and five others who are accused of abuse of office, causing financial loss, theft, corruption and uttering false documents.
The trial has progressed to the stage where Mr Byandala and his co-accused are now making their defence submissions in court.
By June 30, 2017, the IGG prosecutors were handling 35 criminal appeals from accused persons who challenged their conviction in the Anti-Corruption Court.
Some of the prominent appellants include; Samuel Huxley Wanyaka, the former director of budget at Parliament who was found guilty of embezzlement, abuse of office and false accountability, Ms Margaret Kobusingye, a senior economist in charge of water and sanitation in the Ministry of Finance, who was convicted for abuse of office and at least five former district chief finance officers.
Summary of cases
Workload as of January 2017: 6,145
Complaints brought forward: 4,573
New complaints January-June 2017: 1,560
Complaints referred to other agencies: 293
Complaints rejected: 39
Complaints investigated: 1,127
Case files completed: 1,525