EXCLUSIVE: Top UBOS officials under probe over sh1b scam

The Inspectorate General of Government (IGG) has directed investigations into top officials of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) cited in an alleged sh1b financial scam.

The IGG is investigating the alleged mismanagement of funds at the statistics body, allegedly being perpetuated by the top officials.

The probe is also focusing on other possible charges of corruption and financial mismanagement by some top officials.

The inspectorate is investigating staff members of UBOS over victimisation of workmates as well as irregular activities by some officials regarding one of the audit firms in the country.

Ali Munira, the IG spokesperson, confirmed the investigation but declined to delve into the matter.

“I am aware there are ongoing investigations at UBOS being conducted by the inspectorate. There are complaints against some people in UBOS over allegations of corruption, victimisation and mismanagement. We are looking through the allegation and gathering information about the matter,” Munira said.

The inspectorate launched an investigation against UBOS officials after a tip-off by a whistleblower who unearthed massive financial mismanagement in the Government agency.

Recently, according to a source, a whistleblower reported the case to the top management of UBOS. However, instead of carrying out further investigations to ascertain the allegations raised, the complainants are being threatened with dismissal.

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Some staff at UBOS expressed fear, saying they are being intimidated and victimised over claims of exposing the officials named in irregular activities within the agency to the IG.

“The public and UBOS staff knowledgeable about the gravity of corruption at UBOS still have hope that the Inspectorate of Government will use its mandate of fighting corruption to hold those involved accountable,” part of the document from the whistle blower says.

Information obtained by New Vision indicates that some of the officials are seeking to stop the probe. However, according to a source, the probe into the matter has so far reached advanced stages and the IG is not about to stop and that those found culpable will be brought to book.

People privy to the details of the scam told the inspectorate that the whistleblowers at UBOS are afraid of the officials. They alleged that those being investigated are well connected and wield a lot of power.

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Uganda Bureau of Statistics is a government agency that was formed by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics Act, 1988. The agency is mandated to coordinate, monitor and supervise Uganda National statistical system.

Appeal for protection

Those who brought the issue of financial mismanagement to the limelight have asked the IG for protection from the suspected culprits.

They want the Inspectorate to use its mandate enshrined in the Constitution to investigate the matter to its conclusion instead of prematurely exonerating the suspects.

IG’s mandate

The Inspectorate of Government is an independent institution charged with the responsibility of eliminating corruption, abuse of authority and of public office.

The powers as enshrined in the Constitution and IG Act include, to investigate or cause investigation, arrest or cause arrest, prosecute or cause prosecution, make orders and give directions during investigations; access and search and inspect premises or property or search a person or bank account or safe deposit box among others.

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