Editorial

Name and shame all corrupt MPs

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By Editorial

Posted  Tuesday, December 17  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Whereas Ms Kadaga’s call for investigations is welcome, we cannot be sure that some of these investigating MPs will not favour their colleagues.

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Parliament has in the past made headlines for ‘grilling’ and ‘interrogating’ various government and public officials over lack of accountability, mismanagement and corruption claims.

It’s common to watch MPs on television condemning impunity and misuse of resources meant for Ugandans. Almost daily, we read in newspapers about how MPs have tasked a minister, a police officer or a university official to explain why things are going wrong under their watch.

The past two weeks have, however, been different as the guns seem to have turned on these MPs. There have been accusations that some MPs took money to ensure Umeme’s contract is not terminated, while others reportedly pocketed money to ensure the passing of the controversial National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has instructed the House rules committee to investigate these bribery allegations.

However, other than that, we have not heard as much condemnation as we would, had the accused been any other public official. Our MPs are known for lamenting on how government [which they are a part of], condones impunity and how it is reluctant to ensure accountability.

Therefore, other than calling for investigations into these allegations, let the MPs who made the accusations, name and shame their colleagues so that Ugandans can be convinced that there is some trace of transparency and honesty in Parliament. But again, asking MPs (the rules committee) to investigate bribery allegations in their own house is not realistic. What if some of the accused are members of the committee? Will they prick their own eyes? Most unlikely!

It is important that an independent inquirer is established to investigate these allegations. Otherwise, we shall not live to see the report of this investigation let alone know those accused of pocketing money.

Parliament is not new to accusations of corruption. The Shs5 million pay-off to lift presidential term limits and Shs20 million facilitation to ‘monitor’ government programmes ahead of the 2011 elections, are examples that come quickly to mind.

Therefore, just like MPs always demand the naming and shaming of corrupt public workers, let them do the same, and pick out the rotten fruits tainting the image of the Parliament.