Walking will not end corruption

Friday December 6 2019

 

By Tricia Gloria Nabaye and Sophie Kajubi

Uganda is the 149 with the highest corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Rank in Uganda averaged 115.45 from 1996 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 151 in 2016 and a record low of 43 in 1996.

Uganda continues to grapple with delivering key remedial solutions to corruption which has habitually been ingrained in every public sector.
The President championed the anti-corruption walk on December 4 under the theme: ‘A corruption-free Uganda starts with me,’ and certainly, Ugandans participated in the walk. Key to note is what every Ugandan has been intimating in their small corners:

A walk will not be enough to curb the cancer that has eaten away the finances, public service sectors and service delivery.
The state of roads within and outside the central business district are proof of the worrisome effects of impunity and ingrained graft, the health sector is grappling with easy-to-solve problems and the education system no longer carries the promise of employment and basic survival for many Ugandans.
It begs the question, how viable is walking in the fight against corruption? The money used to organise such events should be channelled to service delivery to provide basic public goods within Uganda.

The results of such a walk have only been evident in the long trails of traffic, lack of public means to transport people into the central business district. As such, it turned into an inconvenience to commuters and city residents. It is hard to grasp the good in such an event.
The lack of political will and the ineffectiveness of institutions that have been mandated to fight corruption continue to foster the blow out of the cancer that corruption is. The fight against corruption continues to remain one of cheap talk and loud threats with no action towards curbing the people involved.

The commitment to fighting corruption should be of sterner punishment to those caught in corruption scandals, a wealth declaration exercise for public officials by independent institutions, and public accountability for the misused taxes by government. Short of that, we are only but a community running in circles around corruption and its impact on the development of our economy.
It should be noted that the President acknowledges that it is not a lack of laws that is failing the fight against corruption, but lack of implementation, tasking, supervision and political will.
If we can have to weed out key corrupt individuals and put them on trial, we could be on the road of recovering service delivery, citizen dignity and confidence in the ruling government.
Tricia Gloria Nabaye,
gnabaye@gliss.org

It’s ridiculous and tragic that the President felt he had to walk to stop corruption.
Walking for things we want changed belongs to the ordinary masses who seek to draw the attention of their leadership on the issues that hurt them.
Does this mean that even the President is powerless to impact the fight against corruption directly that he has to seek the attention of those who can make a change?
What is he going to do differently after the walk? If he has nothing planned, then the hours that thousands of Kampalans spent in traffic or unable to carry out business were a complete waste! Not to mention the millions of shillings lost in income and spent on petrol due to the traffic jams!
Sophie Kajubi
Kampala

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