New report on corruption is spot-on

Saturday February 1 2020


By Kenedy Musekura

Recently, Transparency International (TI) released its annual report titled: ‘Corruption Perception Index 2019.’ And out of 180 countries that were ranked, Uganda (the Pearl of Africa), was ranked number 137. And in its league, there are countries such as Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea and Russia
The report was issued at a time when the Government of Uganda seems to be heightening the fight against corruption. In recent times, President Museveni, in nearly all his missives and speeches, preaches against the corruption vice.
As Uganda is preparing for general election in 2021, one of the vital aspects the report highlights is spending of a lot money by politicians and political parties during elections. On this, Ms Patricia Moreira, the TI managing director, says to have any chance of ending corruption and improving people’s lives, we must tackle the relationship between politics. All citizens must be represented in decision-making.
And perhaps by coincidence, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), has just ended its national delegates conference, in which the delegates endorsed a resolution to amend one of the articles of the party’s constitution to allow voting in the party primaries to be conducted by lining up behind candidates. One of the major reason for adopting this method of voting is that it will curb corruption and reduce costs incurred when using ballot papers. Legalese aside, the lining voting method is likely to reduce cost during the primaries and save money for the party.
My take on this subject is an afterthought and it is addressed to the TI. And it is about the word ‘perception’ in the theme of the report. The online Cambridge Dictionary defines the word perception as “a belief or opinion often held by many people and based on how things seem to be.’’
Knowing the power and weight that tend to be in the titles be it of a book, paper, reports, etc, the word perception somehow weakens the strength of this report.
Some people are likely to construe/interpret it as a mere belief yet the report is well researched and buttressed by even concluded case studies of corruption by courts of law in some countries. Perhaps, this is a food for thought to the TI fraternity.
Kenedy Musekura