The Independent (Kampala)

8 November 2012

Uganda: We Deserve Better From Government On Corruption

opinion

Flipping through the dailies is increasingly becoming a despondent experience due to the high levels of corruption in Uganda which undeniably point to a deteriorating and rotten governance system in the country where donor and tax payers' money expected to improve the lives of the deprived are diverted to personal accounts despite the perfect procedures that can't be faulted.

I was irked by an article in this paper where the PM Amama Mbabazi informed of government's decision to pay the stolen 14 billion PRDP funds lost under his supervision. This is one of the many scams in which government has completely failed to protect the citizens, not long ago government cut the already under-allocated health budget to refund the Gavi Funds looted by some of the then executive members in government. With such precedents by government it is no wonder that corruption is thriving in Uganda because the offenders weigh the risks and candidly there is more to gain than to loose for anyone caught misappropriating public funds.

Has anyone ever wondered why the Ugandan government which is the chief custodian of public resources is also the same whistle blower for massive corruption cases within state Agencies? And despite identifying leakages in public resource management nothing is done to minimize them but rather more secrecy and guardedness to cover up the mess. The President has over time communicated his commitment to fight corruption but in the same breathe disempowered the accountability systems and Agencies by giving his opinion on who is guilty or innocent, clearly a role that is for the mandated institutions.

The actions of government in fighting corruption are simply an insult to the citizens of Uganda especially where those culpable for corruption acts are instead protected by the State which is responsible for the growing impunity. Most disturbing is government's shameless act of continuously plunging into the treasury to pay back the loots by persons close to power.

Uganda has been reduced to a carcass with everyone trying to snatch as much as they can in the shortest time unabated. In the same vein government continuously fronts lack of funds as an excuse not to increase the salaries for the health workers and teachers, and not stocking health facilities with medicines and equipment.

If our leaders have a conscience then they owe this much to the citizens.

Gladys Nairuba, Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU)

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