Uganda's anti-corruption agency opens criminal file on vice president, ministers

09:32, November 16, 2010      

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Uganda's anti-corruption agency has started criminal investigations against the country's vice president and other cabinet ministers over mismanagement of funds meant for organizing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kampala in 2007.

Raphael Baku, acting Inspector of General of Government, said here on Monday that he has instructed his team to complete the investigations before the end of next month in order to arraign the suspects in courts of law.

"There is no body who is untouchable; everybody is subject to the law. We are still collecting evidence of criminality against all the people who are involved," he said after launching the country's first annual report on tracking corruption.

The country's parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has already implicated Vice President Gilbert Bukenya, several ministers and senior government officials of gross financial mismanagement of funds amounting to 500 billion shillings (about 227 million U.S. dollars).

Baku appealed to the public to volunteer any incriminating evidence against the implicated officials, noting that the PAC evidence is not enough to have the officials prosecuted.

"If you have any information that is implicating any of the ministers in criminality either bribery, embezzlement, conflict of interest or abuse of office, you bring it forward," he said.

The corruption allegations have caused a sharp divide within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) with some party members calling for resignation or prosecution of the implicated officials.

In parliament where the PAC report is being debated, the opposition has accused the government of trying to protect the accused, adding that the government has no will to fight graft.

Donor agencies have also exerted pressures on the government threatening to cut aid if it does not act on the implicated officials.

Political analysts say that the corruption allegations are likely to cost the NRM votes as the country heads for presidential and parliamentary elections in February next year.

Source: Xinhua


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