EC ORDERS IGG TO PROBE M7 PERSONAL WEALTH
By John V Sserwaniko
In his 12th February 2018 letter, Electoral Commission CEO Sam Rwakojo attaches a list of 29 political parties whose leaders she asks the IGG Irene Mulyagonja to investigate regarding the authenticity of their wealth declarations. The 29 parties include the ruling NRM whose Chairman YK Museveni is number one on the list of political party heads Rwakojo wants the IGG to investigate to establish the authenticity of their wealth declarations. He insists that the political parties and their leaders have a legal obligation to periodically disclose their assets and liabilities to the EC. Rwakojo says that Section 4 of the Political Parties & Other Organizations Act empowers the EC to register and monitor the economic activities of Political Parties and their leaders. “Article 233 clause (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda requires specified officers to declare their income, assets and liabilities from time to time and how they acquired or incurred them,” Rwakojo writes. He adds that Section 9 (1) of PPOA “requires Political Parties and Organizations to submit to the Electoral Commission a copy of the declaration of Assets & Liabilities. This declaration should be authored by the members of the Executive Committee.” Rwakojo says under the same Act the EC is mandated to cause independent inquiries in order to ascertain the truth or correctness of the particulars submitted. “This is therefore to request you [IGG] for information regarding compliance of the registered political party leaders [Museveni inclusive]. Attached is a list of all registered Political Parties and their respective leaders,” Rwakojo concludes in his one page letter to the IGG.
For each party, Rwakojo gives names of two top leaders-the chairperson and Secretary General. For the NRM, which is number one on the list, Rwakojo gives the name of Yoweri Museveni and Kasule Lumumba. He also indicates their registered physical addresses and phone contacts in case the IGG must contact them as she goes about the verification exercise regarding their personal wealth as leaders. There are many other leaders on the list including DP’s Norbert Mao, FDC’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat, CP’s Ken Lukyamuzi, PPP’s Jaberi Bidandi Ssali and Jimmy Akena of UPC. Many will be surprised as to where the EC has got guts to demand for an inquiry into the authenticity of what Museveni (of all people) declared. It’s very likely this is being used as a decoy when in actual sense there are other political party leaders the EC wants to catch and embarrass as we prepare for the referendum on the length of the president’s term. It will be recalled that the opposition parties, especially FDC, have always accused EC of not being independent enough to crack the whip on NRM leaders regarding the requirement to annually file returns with the EC-disclosing assets and liabilities for the party. Could it be that the EC is finally responding to this pressure by the opposition and the CSOs or its some invisible donor pressure? Only time will tell.
The IGG under chapter 13 of the Constitution has the general mandate to inquire into things of this nature and in this case, the Inspectorate’s Director Leadership Code will do as Rwakojo has asked whereafter he will write a verification report to the EC that ideally should rely on that information to sanction parties and leaders found to be non-compliant. To comment on this and other Mulengera news stories, reach us on 0703164755!