The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has described the forthcoming anti-corruption walk as an indication of a high level of commitment and visibility in the fight against corruption in Uganda.
The walk due to take place on Wednesday December 4, will be led by President Museveni from the Constitutional Square in Kampala to Kololo Airstrip. The walk will be held under the theme "A corruption-free Uganda starts with me".
But early this week, Opposition bigwigs led by Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the national coordinator of the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT party said the walk was a mockery, intended to confuse the masses to believe that Museveni has the will to fight corruption. Muntu alleged that Museveni uses corruption to maintain himself in power.
However, Mariam Wangadya, the Second Deputy Inspector General of Government says Mr Museveni has played a big role in fighting corruption through instituting bodies like IG and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit which has unearthed many cases of corruption and uprooted corrupt officials in the country.
"What's wrong with the president participating in this walk? After all he's the elected leader of government and the country. We welcome his participation in this fight against corruption. It should be remembered that these instructions, including the Inspectorate of Government and State House Anticorruption did not exist before Museveni's government came into office. The president being the fountain of honour who has created institutions to fight corruption is going to give this fight (against corruption) visibility," says Ms Wangadya.
Ms Wangadya was speaking to this reporter ahead of the Anti-Corruption Convention that took place Friday morning at Kirigime Guest House in Kabale District. The convention organized by Kick Corruption Out of Uganda (KICK-U) and Inspectorate of Government has attracted locals, district and religious leaders among others to discuss the effects of corruption on development and how it can be eliminated.
Ms Wangadya cited the ejection of Hebert Kabafunzaki from the position of the State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in the aftermath of a corruption scandal as an indicator that Mr Museveni was intolerant of corruption.
Mr Kabafunzaki was in April 2017 arrested at Kampala Serena Hotel for allegedly soliciting a Shs5 million bribe from Aya investment Director, Muhammad Hamid to clear his name from allegations of sexual harassment.
Ms Wangadya advised the Opposition to refrain from helpless noise and come up with practical strategies of eliminating corruption. She said that lamentations are obstructive and cannot add value to Ugandans’ expectations against corruption elimination.
Stanley Nsubuga, the acting Director of Education and Prevention of Corruption in the Inspectorate of Government said that corruption is a global problem which needs collective effort to fight.
However, Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda, the former Chairperson for Kick Corruption out of Uganda said that Uganda does not have visible examples of cases where the government has eliminated corruption.
"What can show Ugandans that Museveni's actions in fighting corruption have yielded fruits? May be he will walk for two hours yet he has been in power for over 30 years and failed to kick out corruption. How many hours are those? Let President Museveni and his people come out and give us examples of corruption cases that were prosecuted up to the end. There was a case of billions of money irregularly imported in this country. What happened to the case," he said.
According to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index report by Transparency International, Uganda ranked 149 out of 175 countries with his corruption cases.