19 December 2012

Uganda: Nation Needs Donors

The Minister for Finance Jachan Omach says Aid Cuts could affect the implementation of the Budget. ( Resource: Uganda Budget to Be Affected by Aid Cuts )


Uganda is still one of the poorest countries in the world despite its remarkable annual economic growth.

Nearly 80% of Ugandans live in rural areas in appalling socio - economic state where they struggle daily to meet their daily requirements.

As one of the poorest countries in the world, the Uganda is incapable of mobilising enough domestic or local resources to cater for the growing needs for the people. In this situation the requirement for supplementary assistance inform of development Aids is inevitable.

In recent weeks, Uganda media has been overcrowded with reports of corruption and mismanagement of public funds. This prompted development partners across the world to suspend their contributions to our budgetary support.

This suspension of Aid to Uganda caused by corruption of public servants is a reactionary approach which only addresses the symptoms and not the root causes of the problems.

Uganda's corruption problems come as a result of structural constraints which should be addressed pro-actively. These corrupt officials are fake technocrats and they are not many.

They are few in Uganda.

The majority of Ugandans live in rural areas where they are always scratching the soil to look for money for survival.

They suffer from the brunt of poverty, diseases and ignorance. They are illiterate, poor and low income households.

In my opinion, I believe the major causes of corruption and mismanagement of public funds should be addressed as follows:

Streamlining the salary structure for the public servants inclusive of those who work in various authorities. This requires a proper survey in order to adopt the best practice in public service.

The accounting officers of the Government at various levels should strengthen audit and internal control systems to deter or detect irregularities earlier enough for corrective measures to be taken in time.

The approach by the President to appoint new officers is welcome proactive intervention. Therefore, suspension of aid to Uganda will not solve her development problems. Instead innocent citizens will be the ones to suffer.

I call upon public servants to be good stewards. Let us follow the good example of the good dog which goes hunting.

When it catches the animal it brings it to the owner to skin and cook. When the food is ready, the owner gives the dog only the bones.

The dog is satisfied with the bones while the owner enjoys the best part of the animal.

The writer is the commissioner of microfinance, Ministry of Finance. 

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