Wealth declaration is key in corruption fight

By: Adellah Agaba

After Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura admitting to public perception that police officers are corrupt, and ordering police officers to declare their wealth to track those who are amassing wealth through dubious dealings, we hope he will lead by example. This should be a starting point to all government officials who want to make a contribution to the fight against corruption.

It should be noted that a Leadership Code is a set of rules or ethics that constitute the minimum standards of conduct for public officials by establishing clear rules for appropriate behavior. A person occupying public office occupies a position of trust. Such a person bears a social contract with the people whose powers they exercise by virtue of their enjoyment of the tenure of that social contract.

The standards of conduct which are expected of public officials at all levels are, therefore, a matter for legitimate and continuing concern by the government, public sector organisations and the community.

Public officials also control, in various ways, the use of financial and other valuable resources provided by the community, government or donors. The use or misuse of those resources raises important questions of professional ethics for administrators and requires each public official to be transparent and accountable to the people he/she is employed to serve.

It should be put into consideration that through public declaration of property and assets by the public officials, they are playing their role in the fight against corruption. In this case, leaders are subjecting themselves to public scrutiny in the way they handle official matters and will be required to account for the wealth they have acquired.

Article 234 of the Constitution gives the IGG mandate to enforce the Leadership Code of conduct. She has special power under Chapter 13 of the Constitution; thereof which includes the power to investigate, arrest and to prosecute in the furtherance of her functions. It is on this basis that the IGG gave an ultimatum for the officials concerned to go ahead and declare their wealth.

Failure to enforce the Leadership Code has fuelled bad governance and lack of transparency in the country. Together against Corruption in 2014!

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