The recently concluded recruitment process in several newly created districts left many people disgruntled over alleged irregularities.
According to a whistleblower from one of the districts on the spot over the vice, applicants were charged between Shs2.5 million and Shs3 million to get shortlisted. In another district, 20 slots for parish chiefs were reportedly advertised, but to the shock of the public, the final shortlist had only 10 applicants. The names of the other 10 were nowhere to be seen.
And it is not just the people in positions of power that exploited the applicants. According to reports, some job applicants also tried to influence district officials.
In one of the districts, one parent collapsed and was rushed to a health facility upon realising that her daughter was not shortlisted even after she paid a Shs3m bribe. Another applicant was turned away after bringing an amount the officials considered too small.
All this comes at the heels of reports that youth have been bribing and attempting to bribe their way into being recruited to the LDU ranks and into the army. Unemployment has pushed people to such levels as bribing their way into slavery in the Middle East.
The fact is that corruption is happening on both sides. The police can and should arrest the offending officials, but the people paying the bribes should not be spared either. It would be defeating the purpose if only one side faces the law while the other goes scot-free.
The malaise is symptomatic of the kind of economic desperation that many Ugandans are going through.
It is a murky moral fabric that goes beyond what the law enforcers can fight.
While the police and other anti-corruption agencies roll up their sleeves to avert this state of affairs, the church as well as other faiths should come in to save the country.
Schools together with parents must train children to responsible citizens and leaders, who will not tolerate to live off bribes as opposed to merit.
For corruption to end, the cord must be cut from both ends. On the one hand, leaders should not take bribes while on the other hand, citizens should desist from giving bribes.