Gains in the Fight Against Corruption

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Following the IGG’s Report, of high corruption levels in Uganda, losing over 10 trillion a year to corruption, the fight against corruption may seem fruitless, but some gains have been made by the state House-Anti Corruption Unit and other entities to curb the surge in corruption levels, though the challenge still exists.

Last week, the Manifesto implementation Unit under the office of the President launched the Manifesto week, a week in which different government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) give accountability to citizens on how they have performed in line with the NRM Manifesto. Accountability is a key component in the fight against corruption which is one of the major issues for the NRM government.

In pursuit of fighting corruption, the NRM created institutions and passed requisite laws. The institutions are: the office of the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) whose objectives is to hold public officers accountable, office of the Auditor General (OAG), Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA), Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Uganda Police, Parliament through the Public account committee, which is chaired by the opposition holds the Executive accountable, which is the effective and reliable check.

Following the IGGs, Report, of high corruption levels in Uganda, losing over 10 trillion a year to corruption, the fight against corruption may seem fruitless, but some gains have been made by the unit and other entities to curb the surge in corruption levels, though the challenges still exists.

In December 2018, President Yoweri Museveni launched the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) to supplement efforts of the various anti-corruption agencies.

This has a 24-hour rapid response line to receive and respond to corruption-related complaints from the public. The Unit is agile and swift in its response to complaints by the general public on cases of corruption in the country. In execution of its mandate, SHACU coordinates closely with a number of Stakeholders, particularly the police, IGG, PPDA, UPDF, and the office of the Minister for Presidency among others.

Together, a lot has been achieved including recovering and saving loss of Government funds and mounting to over 35.484billion Uganda Shillings, arresting and arraigning in Courts of law 482 persons out of which 79 already been convicted.

The collective effort of the citizenry who have embraced the battle to fight corruption, through timely whistle blowing and sharing information which have acted up on through inter agency cooperation has also yielded good sults through prosecution at the Anti-Corruption court DPPand directive recoveries.

The Unit has also utilized online campaigns such as to expose the corrupt and see something, say something to further engage the citizenry in the fight.

We continue to encourage the public to come out boldly and report all corruption related cases at all levels from Local Governments, Town Councils, District Ministries and Central Governments, Agencies and Departments.

The fight against Corruption has taken to the parish level following the introduction of the Parish Development Model funds which have been mismanaged by the very people who should be protecting them.

All the Districts, the CAOs and technical staff have been held answered for loss of Government funds and tried at Anti-Corruption Court.

In Central government and Ministries, the Ministries, Permanent Secretaries and staff, have been investigated for issues of abuse of office and public goods notably the Karamoja iron sheets saga where three Ministers have already been charged in Courts of Law. Embezzlement cases are also being investigated and several officials have been charged.

In addition, the increased vigilance against corruption tendencies by SHACU has enabled preventive notably the Anti-corruption Week has helped in spreading the massage and creating awareness, that fighting Corruption is a collective effort.

The leadership of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit has also been able to give lectures at National level at the Kyankwanzi Leadership Institute and different institutions including Police training schools, Universities on issues relating to corruption.

The paradigm in the fight against corruption has now shifted to higher level =s because if sophistication in the practice, majorly through ICT systems and manipulations, requiring deploying of similar investigative tools.

The mindset game, has remained tilted towards corruption, this also requires severe change in mindset to achieve some results in the fight against corruption.

In conclusion, the fight against corruption remains a strong element in the manifesto, since it cuts across all sectors and as we look at the midterm performance, we should not forget how far we have come and how far still have to go, let everyone do their role in curbing corruption.

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