A total of 183 senior government employees failed to declare their wealth to the Office of the Ombudsman, The New Times has reliably learnt.
According to a source from the office of the Ombudsman, the civil servants never complied with the deadline of June 30, despite repeated pleas from officials from the office of the Ombudsman.
“This culture has to end. Government employees have to respect the law concerning wealth declaration,” the source explained to The NewTimes this week.
Out of 7, 058 civil servants supposed to declare their wealth, 6, 975 complied, according to figures obtained from the Ombudsman’s office.
The 2006 wealth declaration law requires government employees to declare their wealth to the office of the Ombudsman for verification by June 30 every year.
“We even made the process of declaring wealth easy but some people have refused to comply and do it within the required time,” the source complained.
This year, the government introduced an online registration system to be used by all public workers to submit their annual income, assets and liabilities.
According to officials from Ombudsman, the computerized system was introduced supposedly to ease the registration process among officials, increase accuracy and documentation of received data and proper record keeping.
Initiated in 2004, the annual wealth declaration is aimed at fighting corruption, maintain proper accountability to the people and heighten integrity.
The idea behind this was to deal with officials who accumulate wealth beyond their means and cannot account on how and where they got it from.
Jeanne d'Arc Mwiseneza, Director of the Declaration of Assets unit at the Office of the Ombudsman said that those who failed to beat the deadline would be penalised accordingly.
“They will be given ample time to explain why they did not declare their wealth in time. The Ombudsman office will then see whether they have legitimate excuses. Those whose excuses will not be justified, their names will be submitted to their employers for disciplinary action,” Mwiseneza explained.
The New Times could not by press time obtain the names of officials who never complied with the wealth declaration law. The office of Ombudsman has in the past insisted that the law does not allow their office to reveal the identities of those who fail to declare on time.
In 2009, the Ministry of Labour and Public service suspended 56 civil servants for failing to declare their wealth.
These included senior government officials in various departments that either failed to declare or under-declared their assets leading to their suspension.