Religious leaders unite to fight moral degeneration

The Assistant Commissioner on Religious Affairs in the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity, Mr Justus Rubarema, addresses religious leaders in Arua City on Tuesday. PHOTO | FELIX WAROM OKELLO

What you need to know:

  • The Directorate for Ethics and Integrity wants clerics to help in instilling morals and rebuilding ethics.

Religious leaders across the West Nile Sub-region have been urged to fight moral degeneration following poor ethics and integrity in government offices, communities, and the private sector.

 Speaking at a meeting with the religious leaders in Arua City on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary of the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the President, Mr Alex Okello, urged religious leaders to use their calling to serve God and help sort people’s problems.

 The religious leaders were drawn from Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo, Arua City, and Maracha districts.

 “We need to rebuild ethics and integrity in our society. Religious leaders should sort all the problems that come in their communities in one way or the other,” Mr Okello said.

 He cited the breakdown in values, ethical conduct and integrity in society as some of the points of concern and the reason they invited the religious leaders to discuss the matter.


In October 2013, President Museveni launched the National Ethical Values Policy to respond to the public outcry on the persistent degeneration of moral behaviour, unprofessional conduct, and the general unethical and dishonest behaviour in both public and private affairs in Uganda.

  The policy also calls for inclusive and robust engagement of all stakeholders to promote, protect, and preserve national values.

Fr Jimmy Apangu, the parish priest of Queen of Heaven, Yumbe, Arua Diocese, said rebuilding ethics and integrity requires a collaborative effort among all government ministries, departments, and agencies.

  “We have had cases, for instance, the Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja. The late Fr Simon Lokodo [former Ethics and Integrity minister] could say no to it but the other side of the government would say ‘we have invested much [in it] and it will bring more money’. Now, when we begin to compromise standards in preference to income, then there we go wrong,” he said.

 The first deputy Mufti, Sheikh Mohammad Ali Waiswa, called for the development of a policy on the national values system that is citizen-based.

 “Uganda used to be a model nation in terms of natural character. Everywhere you went, you could find people well-behaved but what made us change?” he asked.