The Independent (Kampala)

Uganda: Civil Society Fault Museveni On Corruption

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Uganda have asked President Yoweri Museveni to practically extend his iron hand on all government officials involved in stealing public funds at the expense of the Ugandan citizens.

This call comes at a time when government is investigating the loss of billions of shillings in the Office of the Prime Minster and other billions of the pension sector that went missing in the ministry of public service.

Speaking to journalists at the Ant-Corruption Coalition Uganda head offices in Kampala on Dec. 2, the CSO's said for the last 25 years Uganda has been immersed in a sea of corruption scandals involving theft of colossal sums of public money.

The scandals they mentioned include; the helicopter scandal to ghost soldiers, GAVI, Global Fund, UPE scandal, KCC saga, Tri-star disgrace, CHOGM, Temangalo, Umeme subsidy fee, NSSF, NAADS, National Identity Cards, LC bicycles, Basajjabalaba scam, pension money and the OPM scandal among others.

"That habit of stealing public money should stop," they said, adding the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is responsible because all the scandals involve top government officials under Museveni's regime.

They said the president has most times publicly vowed to fight corruption but that is yet to translate into real actions that can deter politically connected thieves and public servants who have turned into money sucking vampires.

They said the presence of legal and institutional framework has not done enough, because laws have been applied selectively and enforcement is politicised as some of these institutions have been used to fight political and personal wars.

"The levels of corruption in this country have reached at a point of safety where we as CSOs feel enough is enough," they said in a joint press statement, adding corruption has caused a crisis in the country since majority of the population as a result of the vice sleep hungry without medical care, jobs and half baked education system among others.

Anti-corruption week

The CSOs have planned to hold a number of events starting Dec. 3 up to Dec7 (called it anti-corruption week) through media campaigns, national convention, youth debates, dialogue meetings and sports events to ask government to expose and punish all the "thieves" that have been implicated in corruption scandals.

The week is also intended to ask government to fight impunity by not recycling implicated ministers from one ministry to another and to ensure that all those found guilty not only have their property seized and accounts frozen but also have a longer jail term.

"They [thieves] should be treated as mass murderers because their actions have claimed very many innocent lives in Uganda," they said.

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