The past week President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the Anti-Corruption Unit during the International Anti-Corruption Day Celebrations held at Kololo air strip on 10th December where many critics arose as to whether the presidential move against corruption will really end it in the country. Bobi wine referred to Museveni as the father of corruption who doesn’t possess the moral authority to comment about corruption.
President Museveni while at the official launch of the state house anti-corruption unit said that the government will confiscate properties of public servants accumulated in unclear way, as one of measures laid down in the mission to end corruption.
However, DP perceived Museveni take off against corruption with defeatism.
While addressing journalists at City House party headquarters on Tuesday DP’s president Norbert Mao said that, the anti- corruption fight programme initiated by the president is “a mock fight”.
According to Mao he says; president Museveni’s government survives on corruption and this complicates the fight against corruption.
Stating that as a result of corruption programmes like; construction of Dams and the standard gauge railway failed because of corruption. However, DP believes that personal example is the only remedy to reverse corruption and nothing else.
“Nobody who can even listen to president’s explanation on corruption because they are looking at his conduct, we need the president to show by personal example, it’s simple as that”, Mao stated.
Meanwhile, the country’s director Action Aid Xavier Enjoyi stated that; as long as there’s no commitment and politicians continue prioritising their interests’ other than public interests then the president’s patriotic move against corruption is just a design.
“Our leaders love their country, if they love their country as a patriotic leader how come we are not seeing shifts in the fight against corruption significantly? How come each day unfolding we are seeing massive amounts of money lost? You here this in northern Uganda recovery and development. You here this in refugee resettlement, you here this hand shake, you here this. So these are unfolding what is going on and you see politicians are moving in cycles and yet there are in charge of policy making. I think that we need zero tolerance from the top leadership from the president to ministers to top public servants”, Enjoyi observed.
In addition, Enjoyi said that creation of many anti- corruption institutions in the country could obviously mean efficiency to generate significant change.
“It doesn’t appear if that is the case, to the extent that each day you are greeted on headlines, news about this getting lost, this amount of money in billions getting lost. Roads that are supposed to be done are not completed in time or at least the specifications that are required”, Enjoyi said.
He however, continued to say that; in an attempt to address corruptioncases by the government only few of them get logical conclusions as they unfold.
“And then you don’t see really considerable efforts in addressing corruption as in recovery of funds and action against those suspected. The prosecution not all of them yield to the ultimate end that money is recovered and the people who have been alleged of stealing the money are actually successfully prosecuted that is the challenge of it here”, according to the country director Action Aid.
Well as Christine Byingira president Anti- Corruption unit says; they expect less from the newly created unit saying that the country stands a debt of 41 trillion Uganda shillings at a moment and creating a new anti- corruption unit will mean allocation of more resources to facilitate the staff in terms of accommodation, office space, salaries a strategy she termed as ‘wastage of resources’.
She stated that the new unit is actually going to replicate the work of IG because they are just going to do the same work.
“Now what we should focus on is instead harmonizing the institution, we should may be increase staff for the IG so as they can be more productive”, Byingira speaking.
She adds that government should first settle the case of ‘Big fish’ the untouchable officials who feels protected by the president.
“If the IG says you cannot handle some of these grand case because the ‘Big fish’ always runs to the president, they mention the president’s name and they get away with it. So we need to first address such challenges”, Byingira explaining.
She further said that, president Museveni should stand firm on corruption and say NO to whoever runs to him for refugee asserting that, if at all he does that then these institutions will be strengthened.
Meanwhile, Byingira said state institutions like the police, Judiciary, URA, KCCA contains the top corrupt officials exercising grand corruption at National level involving huge sums of money.
“We see the police being at the top, we see the Judiciary as always, last week the president also mentioned of the URA $ KCCA are all been infiltrated by weevils. So we still think that these institutions are being failed by political interference, sometimes they cannot implement their mandate to the fully because of some of these interruptions”, she observed.
Finally, she said the state should empower the existing institutions and let them be independent than creating new units.
“Today he says the thieves are the permanent secretaries, CAO at district level, town clerks and ministers all these are involved in corruption. So unless the president steps down, puts his foot down and come down firm on the corrupt whether ministers or PS, I think we shall achieve this fight against corruption”, Byingira noted.
Today the big question remains, will the president succeed with his move to end corruption in Uganda? Over to you.
We shall keep you posted here at Flash Uganda media.