25 January 2009

Uganda: Museveni Hails UK On Corruption Arrest

Kampala — PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has asked potential investors to report to their home governments and his office any Ugandan official who solicits a bribe.

In a strongly worded warning to crafty government officials dated January, 23, Museveni said any information submitted to his office with evidence would result into "swift and decisive action".

He commended Britain for arresting a Ugandan official, Ananias Tumukunde, who got a bribe from a British company.

Tumukunde, a former presidential adviser on science and technology, was in April last year arrested at Heathrow airport over a $160,000 (about sh296m) bribe he solicited from CBRN Team Ltd.

The bribe was for signing a $420,000 deal with Uganda to supply equipment to the Presidential Guard Brigade ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala.

The British High Commission handed over the money that was recovered from Tumukunde to the Inspector General of Government, Faith Mwondha.

"This is what should be done in all cases. I appeal to potential investors to inform both your home governments and my office in case of any approach by these corrupt leaders and officials for any favours," he said.

Museveni described the practice as "a pestilence that can easily be stopped" with the investors' prompt co-operation.

It is most flabbergasting and unacceptable, he said, for leaders to solicit bribes, adding that such leaders had no value to their society.

He said Uganda occasionally got donations for political parties or campaigns before issues of political funding were sorted out, but this had to be in conformity with the law and only handled by designated offices.

"It was never for individuals to go around soliciting for money even for political causes," he stressed.

This contemptible behaviour, he added, was not only for the officials' selfish interests but was also detrimental to Uganda as it discourages foreigners to invest here since the bribe raises their business costs.

The 2008 IGG National Integrity Survey report said the Police and Judiciary were the most corrupt government institutions.

Copyright © 2009 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.