The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has urged legislators serving on accountability committees to be strong and confront persons wasting public funds.
Kadaga said that even when accountability committees are headed by members of the Opposition, sometimes the government side offers ‘sweeteners’ or issues threats in order to influence their decisions and audit bodies.
“That is when the weak are exposed and the strong have to stand out by refusing to be compromised,” she said during a dinner held for delegates attending the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC) Annual General Meeting and Symposium. The dinner was held at Ndere Cultural Centre in Kampala on Thursday, 22 November 2018.
Kadaga said that it was the duty of African parliaments to keep pressure on government ministries and departments through accountability avenues like accountability committees to ensure that resources allocated to meet people’s needs are put to proper use.
She said that most countries perceived as corrupt by their own people are on the African continent, as shown by the Global Corruption Index produced by Transparency International.
“That is a challenge to parliamentarians, particularly those on committees like PAC. What can we do better to curb indiscipline and careless fiscal practices that keep the continent in endless debt?” said Kadaga adding that “As individuals and institutions, you do have a heavy task, which you must, nonetheless, perform with diligence and integrity.”
The Acting Chairperson of AFROPAC, Hon. Angelline Osegge (FDC, Soroti district), said that legislators on accountability committees considered themselves as the needed change agents in Africa. She said that the organisation had progressed because of the commitment and awareness of the problems facing Africa and its people including corruption, high external debt and illicit financial flows.
“I hope that together, we can fight all these vices and get our people out of these problems,” said Osegge, who chairs Parliament’s PAC (Central Government).
Parliament of Uganda has four accountability committees on Central Government, Local Governments, Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises; and Government Assurances.
The African Organization of Public Account Committees (AFROPAC) Annual General Meeting and Symposium was attended by representatives from 16 African countries and held under the theme: “One voice for PAC and similar committees in managing public debt and fighting corruption,” and was held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo 19 – 23 November 2018.