KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has pledged Parliament’s support to the Leadership Code Tribunal.
Oulanyah said the purpose of creating institutions included supporting them in the advancement of their mandate.
“We don’t create institutions for mere sake of it; we give them mandate, resources and people [to execute their agenda]; we would like to see the tribunal fully functional,” he said.
The Leadership Code Tribunal Act is a creation of Article 235(a) of the Constitution and its enabling legislation is the Leadership Code Act.
It is intentioned to, “efficiently adjudicate breaches of the Leadership Code of conduct in order to promote good governance.”
The one year old tribunal’s current Chairperson is Dr Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa, deputised by former Minister, Asuman Kiyingi.
Other members are Ms Jane Okelowange, Mr Didas Mufahsa and Ms Joyce Nalunga Birimumaaso. Registrar Sheila Namono is, according to the Act, the tribunal’s accounting officer.
During the courtesy call, the tribunal poured out its heart to the Speaker on the tribulations they face, chiefly financial.
Without a vote, their resources are channeled through the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity housed under the Office of the President.
Currently, in the financial year 2019/2020, the tribunal got Shs4 billion, courtesy of a Memorandum of Understanding that government signed with the European Union.
The resources would later be applied in financial year 2020/2021 following the appointment of the members of the tribunal, but this time the budget had suffered cuts that brought it to Shs3.09 billion.
The current financial year brought it further down to Shs2.3 billion.
Kiyingi said when Covid-19 hit, officials at the Finance Ministry advised the tribunal to freeze activities as all resources were committed to alleviate effects of the pandemic.
“Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the Finance people were saying we should just cease operations until we get money because there was also nothing happening,” he said.
Dr Karugonjo-Segawa said another hindrance is lack of clarity on the independence of the tribunal and immunity of its members from personal responsibility for actions and decisions made in the course of duty.
Oulanyah said Parliament will support efforts to streamline all issues at the tribunal and that the legal issues that may require amendments should be vouched with the Attorney General and the Legislature will be ready to process amendments in light of this.