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Uganda: President okays creation of tribunal to try leaders who under-declare wealth

Kampala. The Directorate for Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the President, has directed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), to recruit individuals to constitute a Leadership Code Tribunal that will go after leaders who, among other things, under-declare their actual wealth to the ombudsman.

The chairman of the JSC, Justice Benjamin Kabiito, told Sunday Monitor that the JSC has since commenced the recruitment process and will send a list of the suitable candidates to the President to pick from.

Five positions are up for grabs, including the chairperson, deputy chairperson and three members, who are all to be appointed by the President on the advice of the JSC.

The Leadership Code Act, 2002, requires public officials at a certain level to declare their incomes, assets and liabilities to the IGG from time to time, with explanations of how they acquired or incurred them.

But there are complaints that leaders habitually under-declare their wealth, which they might have acquired through corrupt means. The tribunal, although provided for under the Act, has not been in place.

The tribunal is mandated to, among other things, receive, examine and adjudicate any breach of the Code, make a decision on any matter referred to it by the IGG and submit it to the authorised person/authority for action.

The IGG in 2016, made it mandatory and easier for public officers to declare their wealth under the Leadership Code online, a move that was aimed at avoiding long queues during the last minute rush.

Justice Kabiito also revealed that the Commission has acquired funds to commence the recruitment exercise to fill up several positions that will soon fall vacant in the Judiciary given that many judicial officers will soon be retiring this year.

Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine, Justice Moses Mukiibi, the head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD), Justice Margaret-Oguli Oumo, and Justice Albert F Rugadya Atwooki (resident Judge, Masindi court), are some of those who will soon retire.

By Daily Monitor

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