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Controversy Erupts Over UPDF Wealth Declaration Exemption

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controversy erupts over updf wealth declaration exemption
controversy erupts over updf wealth declaration exemption
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Members of Parliament from the opposition in Uganda have voiced their objections to a proposal that would exempt UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Force) officers from publicly disclosing their wealth through the Inspectorate of Government (IGG). Instead, they would declare their assets through the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

Their main argument is that since the army receives a significant portion of the national budget, there is no harm in requiring UPDF officers to transparently report their wealth, as long as it is acquired legally.

Joyce Bagala, the Mityana Woman MP, cited Section 7 of the Leadership Codes Act, which mandates the public disclosure of wealth declarations. She argued that the decision by the IGG to establish a special portal for soldiers to declare their wealth under CMI’s supervision suggests a failure on the part of the Inspectorate to fulfill its constitutional and statutory obligations.

Bagala further criticized this directive, asserting that it goes against Section 7 of the Act and is designed to shield UPDF from civilian scrutiny regarding potential corruption. She stressed that President Museveni does not have the authority to unilaterally amend an act of Parliament and expressed disappointment that the IGG is implementing an action she considers unlawful.

Bagala questioned the necessity of citing national security concerns as a reason to keep the wealth of senior UPDF officers confidential, especially if it has been acquired lawfully. She urged the IGG to refrain from implementing directives that she views as illegal.