Janet asks corrupt officials to repent

Vice President Jessica Alupo (centre), Kampala Capital City Authority and Metropolitan Affairs minister Minsa Kabanda (left)  and Inspector General of Government Beti Kamya after the national interdenominational prayers against corruption at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala on Friday. PHOTO / FRANK BAGUMA. 

What you need to know:

  • The First Lady says Uganda loses trillions of shillings yearly to mismanagement of resources, theft, fraud, neglect of duty, and miscarriage of justice. 

The First Lady, Ms Janet Museveni, has asked corrupt officials and citizens to repent and change their way of life since their deeds continue to frustrate service delivery and hurt many innocent Ugandans.

Ms Museveni, who is also the National Champion of the Ambassadors of Integrity Campaign, urged the corrupt to “turn away from erroneous ways.”

She added in a speech read by Vice President Jessica Alupo at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Friday: “Corruption is a hindrance to achieving aspirations of the National Development Plan III and Vision 2040.”

The prayers organised by the Inspectorate of Government in collaboration with Inter-religious Council of Uganda were held under the theme, “Putting God at the centre of the war against corruption.”

The Guest Preacher was the Archbishop of the Uganda Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Jerenomos Muzeyi.

The First Lady said Uganda loses trillions of shillings yearly to mismanagement of resources, theft, fraud, neglect of duty, and miscarriage of justice.

A survey commissioned by the Inspectorate of Government in 2021 revealed that Uganda could be losing up to Shs20 trillion annually to corruption.

The survey indicated that about Shs10 trillion is swindled directly through undeclared taxes and utility user fees, corruption in procurement of government  goods and services, inflation of the public payroll, ghost workers on public service payroll, shoddy works, sale of government property such as fuel, drugs, mismanagement of all government resources.

The First Lady asked religious and cultural leaders as well as families to join the government and other non-state actors in combating corruption.

“Corruption is primarily perpetuated and sustained through people at individual and institution levels, the government cannot fight the battle alone,” she noted.

Tayebwa weighs in

Elsewhere, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa described fighting corruption as a challenge.

“Corruption fights back. You touch someone who has stolen Shs10billion, he will use Shs50m to fight you. This is a challenge that we must address,” Mr Tayebwa said.

 He also demanded that recommendations of all Auditor General’s reports on corruption be implemented.

The Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Ms Rose Lilly Akello said leaders should be role models who can cultivate a culture of integrity and guide citizens to operate within the boundaries of morality and integrity.

The Inspector General of Government, Ms Beti Kamya said everyone should cry out to God to protect the Shs48 trillion passed in this year’s national budget and also participate in the fight against corruption.

Ms Kamya said the government would continue rewarding whistleblowers who expose corruption as stated in the Whistleblowers’ Act.

“Parliament passed this Act to encourage people to report such cases. If a whistleblower helps in the recovery of Shs1 for example, he or she is entitled to five percent of that money,” she explained.

Ms Kamya also announced that national interdenominational prayers against corruption would be held on the last Friday of every month of July

The Archbishop of Church of Uganda who doubles as the chairperson of the Council of Presidents, Inter religious Council of Uganda  Rev. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu  said maintaining high standard of morality and refusing to compromise would contribute to individuals’ attempt to protect one’s self from being corrupted.

Reading from the book of Psalms 14:1-6, the Head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke  said, the fool says in his heart, there is no God , they are corrupt, their deeds are vile.

He added, “All have turned away, all have become corrupt, there is no one who does good, do all these evil doers know nothing? You evil doers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the lord is the refuge.”

The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Mr Martin Ngoga, said fighting corruption is a process that should be constant, requires multiple approaches and a clear chain of accountability so that it doesn’t break.

“If the chain breaks anywhere, then accountability does not happen,” Mr Ngoga said.

The Presiding Apostle Born Again Faith in Uganda, Apostle Joseph Serwadda asked God to protect the Shs48 trillion from embezzlement, fraud, bribery, theft, abuse of authority, nepotism, in Justice and impunity