Leadership Code: 34,000 Leaders Expected to Declare Wealth

The Inspectorate of Government has revealed is waiting for up to 34,000 wealth declarations by various leaders in compliance with the Leadership Code. The declaration which started on March 1 will run until March 31, 2023.  

The Code requires a public officer to, declare his or her assets, income and liabilities to the Inspector General of Government within three months of starting work in the public service. Thereafter, the declaration is every five years for elected political leaders from the sub-county level up to the President, permanent secretaries, heads of public institutions, board members of public institutions, and executive leaders of political parties.  

In 2021, the Inspectorate recorded 25,000 declarations from 312 institutions and referred 45 defaulting public officers to the Leadership Code Tribunal for prosecution. The law stipulates that officers who fail to, without justifiable cause, comply with the request within 60 days will be subjected to a warning or caution, dismissal or vacation of office.  

Dr Patricia Achan Okiria, the Deputy Inspector General of Government says that the declarations help the Inspectorate enforce transparency, detect illicit enrichment, and prevent the misappropriation of public resources.  She was speaking after declaring her wealth and that of the IG Beti Olive Kamya to the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among in her boardroom on Monday. 

During the same event, Speaker Anita Among equally declared her income, assets and liabilities to the Inspectorate and rallied other legislators and staff of Parliament to comply and avoid the repercussions.  

Leaders who will not beat the deadline will be referred to the Leadership Code Tribunal which is mandated to hear and adjudicate breaches by leaders and public officers filed by the Inspectorate under the Leadership Code Act.  

Such breaches include non-declaration, failure to submit declarations, false, incorrect and anticipatory declarations late submissions of declarations, accepting gifts for favours, failure to declare or dispose of gifts in accordance with the act, and participation in prohibited contracts. 

Other breaches are; failure to respond to a request for clarification from the Inspectorate, prohibited conduct and contracts, misuse of official information, illegitimate influence from offers of future employment, conflict of interest and abuse of public property, among others.  

Sections 35 and 36 of the Act stipulate that a leader who commits a breach of provisions of the Leadership Code shall have the excess or undeclared property confiscated or forfeited to the Government or be liable to dismissal or shall vacate office. 

Any person who without justification or lawful excuse, wilfully obstructs or hinders a person acting in the exercise of functions under this Code; commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points or both.  

Further, a person who is convicted of an offence under this Code for which no penalty is prescribed is liable to a fine not exceeding 150 currency points, an equivalent of 3 million Shillings or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

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