There is no way permanent secretaries can “escape accounting for shoddy work” under their jurisdiction, President Yoweri Museveni has insisted.
President Museveni who was on Friday reacting to an intriguing presentation by Irene Mulyagonja, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) told ministers, permanent Secretaries and members of the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) that Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and permanent Secretaries should be at the forefront in the fight against corruption.
“ISO and permanent secretaries and other accounting officers at the district level are the ones who should help us fight corruption because they have countrywide network,” president told the retreat held at National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi.
A tough-talking Museveni added; “When the contractor breaches a contract by doing shoddy work, how many of you Permanent Secretaries see to it that the contractor pays back government money on top of losing the contract? Why do you use a soft stick when you have a hard one?”
In her presentation, Mulyagonja told the retreat that from her experience, most of the government money us swindled at the procurement level, calling for a mechanism that empowers internal auditors to do their work without undue interferences of accountants.
Mulyagonja also called for a strong anti-corruption tone from the higher offices of the country to support the work of anti-corruption actors.
She recommended strengthening of the three pronged strategy of deterrence, prevention and education which has been found effective in fight corruption even in the poorest of countries.
“When public officers are implicated in corruption they are simply moved to other offices. If we are going to keep the bad apples in public service, how are we going to clean out corruption?” Mulyagonja wondered, asserting that “we need a strong anti-corruption tone from the top most offices of the land.”
Meanwhile, Ofwono Opondo, the Uganda media Executive director has attacked those who claim that the ended cabinet retreat discussed the controversial removal of constitutional presidential age-cap limit to open doors for president Museveni to stand as president again.
Opondo who was directly reacting to allegations made by Jeema’s Asuman Basalirwa that the removal of the presidential age-limit was far more important to Museveni than middle-income status vision, termed Basalirwa and likes who are insisting on age-limit talk as “stupid and redundant.”
“NRM has not officially taken a position on the proposal on lifting the age-limit into consideration, at least for now. Unless you are stupid, I have said it before and I will say it again, lifting age limit never came up in Kyankwanzi.” Opondo said while featuring on NBS television’s talk show on Monday.
The retreat, organised through the NRM secretariat in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s office, run under the theme: Sustaining steady progress: cabinet cohesion, efficiency and effectiveness for enhanced service delivery and job creation.