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Gulu City Councilors Struggle to Declare Wealth Online

The IG recently directed all public officers in the country including elected leaders from Chairperson LCIII to make a declaration of their wealth or poverty before August 7, 2021.
Gulu City Council Sign post -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

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Gulu City councillors are struggling with the online declaration of their wealth to the Inspectorate of Government (IG).     

The IG recently directed all public officers in the country including elected leaders from Chairperson LCIII to make a declaration of their wealth or poverty before August 7, 2021.   

However, the councillors in Gulu City have complained of the process of filling the online forms, lack of internet and access to computers, and lack of updated information on the city.    

The unfamiliarity with the online system and reluctance by the councillors has also affected the process. 

Caroline Rose Adong, the Councilor representing Women Disabilities who also doubles as the Secretary for Works and Technical Services says that she has been trying to enter her data but has constantly failed as the online system rejects her details and also lacks updated information about the newly created Gulu City.   

Adong added that the lack of access to computers and the internet has also hindered declaration of wealth yet the deadline will expire this week.     

She appealed to the IG to update the online system with the details of Gulu City or provide them with forms that they can fill and return to their offices.    

Florence Lalam, the Councilor representing women of Laroo-Pece North in the Laroo-Pece division says that she is unaware of the operation of the system since as councillors in the new city they were not oriented about its operation even after assuming office. 

Joyce Alima Winny, the Gulu City Speaker equally says she is unaware of the operation of the system, she noted that she is also reluctant in the wealth declaration because she is unaware of its urgency and relevance.    

Alima noted that the council is aware of the challenges being experienced by the councillors. She asked the councillors to opt for forms from the IG office and enter their details manually.     

Jane Akwero, the Human Resource Officer for Gulu City blamed the challenges on failure by the government to update the information about Gulu City and delayed orientation of the councillors.  

However, Geoffrey Matovu, the Northern Regional Inspectorate of Government Officer confirmed the failure of the online registration system and technical challenges, challenges in accessing the internet and computers, slow internet, and the lack of updated Gulu City details on the system. 

He added that others affected also include teachers, staff in lower health facilities, and public officers in the rural areas.   

Matovu advised the councillors to pick forms from their respective IG focal person, fill and return them to the IG office. 

//Cue in: ‘’from where I …   

Cue out: …access the system.’’//   

While launching the online wealth declaration system last year, Deputy IGG George Bamugereire warned that any leader who fails to declare their wealth within three months of appointment faces being penalized.  The act set a fine of 400,000 Shillings per month for the initial three months of non-submission of the declaration. 

After the initial three months, the declarant is expected to pay a fine not exceeding Shillings 800,000 per month. 

The Leadership Conduct Act was designed to increase transparency and curb corruption among senior public officials.

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