Streamline fight against corruption in Uganda

President Museveni with the Inspector General of Government, Ms Beti Kamya, at the launch of the lifestyle audit campaign during the International Anti-Corruption Day at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO / DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • This is mind-boggling. What should be done to curb the rising level of corruption in the country? It is becoming evident that the proliferation of institutions and bodies designated to fight corruption alongside the Inspectorate of Government is not paying citizens the dividends they so much desire.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Olive Kamya, recently handed to Parliament the National Integrity Survey report indicating that Uganda loses Shs20 trillion per year to corruption.

This is mind-boggling. What should be done to curb the rising level of corruption in the country? It is becoming evident that the proliferation of institutions and bodies designated to fight corruption alongside the Inspectorate of Government is not paying citizens the dividends they so much desire.

Time has come to realize that other than spreading the limited resources in terms of funds, manpower and time by operating nearly parallel ant-corruption outfits, it is critical that government should empower more the office of the IGG to enable them to deliver their mandate better.

The Constitution bestows upon the IGG the powers to authorize and supervise investigations of cases of corruption, issue reports of investigations, issue warrants of arrest, and authorize prosecutions, among others. As such, it would serve in the best interest of Ugandans, who aspire to see an end to corruption, if entities such as the State House Anti-Corruption Unit and the Ministry of Economic Monitoring, among others, are designated as departments in the IGG’s office.

Revamping the office of the IGG is even more critical today when the government is in the process of merging agencies, departments, authorities and other entities with the aim of avoiding duplication of roles amid increasing costs of operations - in the fight against corruption.

There is no doubt that the State House Anti-Corruption Unit led by Col Edith Nakalema is doing a superb job in getting information on corruption suspects, causing their arrests, questioning them about their conduct and where need be, handing them over to police for further action.

The energy, speed, courage, and efficiency with which the Anti-Corruption team operates is what the offi ce of the IGG urgently requires let alone the resources that go with it. It is important for the government to consolidate and channel all the available resources in the fight against corruption - funds and manpower - to a single institution replete with functioning departments and structures if the country is to emerge out of the corruption quagmire it is in today.

The citizens, most of who are often shortchanged by corrupt public officials, need to be sensitised to make them aware as to where they should report cases of corruption in their communities and public offices, among others for effective and decisive action.

An energised IGG should be expected to play its full role of authorising and supervising investigations of cases of corruption, issue reports of investigations, and where necessary, issue warrants of arrest, and prosecute suspects, among others. Ugandans have suffered a great deal at the hands of corrupt people.

Roads are constructed today and they develop potholes tomorrow. Bridges are built today but they are washed away by floods as soon as they are commissioned. Schools and health centres never last as the walls and ceilings begin to crack even before they are put to good use.

Unfortunately, these parasites whom other people have called vampires or mafias, continue to distort the country’s economy through doing shoddy work in nearly all sectors. Eff orts to should streamline the fi ght against corruption should be welcomed by all with a view to weeding out the vampires and mafias.

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