6 January 2013

Uganda: NGOs Publish First Bribery Newsletter

Non-governmental organisation leaders plan to mark the first Monday in 2013 with pomp and drama by intensifying their anti-graft crusade dubbed the Black Monday Movement campaign.

Key on their activities will be the vending of a free Black Monday bulletin written key NGO leaders between 7am and 8am tomorrow in at least 10 strategic places. The bulletin chronicles activities of the Black Monday Movement campaign and disseminates key anti-graft messages. This is part of what the NGOs say is their contribution towards achieving President Yoweri Museveni's stated zero tolerance to corruption.

"Key to this is that we are helping the President to implement his commitment on zero tolerance to corruption," a document by the NGOs says.

The NRM and President Yoweri Museveni promised to weed out corruption in the country in their 2011 re-election manifesto.

"In the next five years, given fresh mandate by Ugandans, NRM government will continue the programmes as detailed in the relevant chapters of this manifesto. NRM will vigorously implement its zero-tolerance policy on corruption," reads a preamble to the 2011-16 NRM manifesto.

It remains to be seen if this exercise won't draw a strong Police response. But the participants seem to be prepared for any eventuality. "The first security for all the vendors is a clear understanding of what the campaign is about and the vending activity in particular," they add in the document. The organizers have also organized a legal team to come to their rescue incase of any backlash.

By press time, the NGO leaders had identified 10 places where the vending was to take place. Two NGO leaders were lined to vend the bulletin at each of the 10 places.

In each of these places, there will be a volunteer or backup person who will, however, not be involved in the distribution of the brochures.

"The volunteers will take pictures and write a half-page brief from what is happening in anonymity. The back volunteers will also keep the coordination and legal team at the Uganda National NGO Forum should there be need for support," reads minutes of a pre-planning meeting that took place on Friday.

Moving forward, the NGOs plan to use street preaching and mobile vehicles to distribute flyers in all major towns, to take advantage of the church infrastructure and design an upcountry outreach strategy, led by key contacts in the regions or districts.

Besides vending the paper, they also intend to distribute the Black Monday bulletins to major radio stations and media houses for morning press reviews and DJ mentions.

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