UNITED AGAINST CORRUPTION

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By Owen Wagabaza

Every year, about $1 trillion is paid in bribes, while an estimated $2.6 trillion is stolen through corruption, which is the equivalent of more than 5% of the global Gross Domestic Product.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are an estimated 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

In Uganda, the 2015 Parliament report estimates that the country has lost more than sh24 trillion to corruption in the last 10 years. The picture is not any different from Transparency International’s survey of 2019, which ranks Uganda as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

The National Service Delivery Survey 2015 by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics put the Uganda Police at 63% as far as bribery, fraud and extortion are concerned, making it the most corrupt institution in the country.

The Police is closely followed by tax officials at 48%, the Judiciary at 45%, the public sector at 44% and business executives at 40%. According to Cissy Kagaba, the head of the Anti-corruption Coalition Uganda, corruption is a serious problem that can undermine social and economic development in societies, regions and countries.

Bill Nkeeto, the dean of the Faculty of Business and Management at Victoria University Kampala, says corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows down economic development and contributes to governmental instability.

According to Nkeeto, corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires, whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY

REVERSE CORRUPTION CULTURE – TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day. The national theme for this year is, “Promoting Social Accountability through an Active Citizenry.” The Executive Director of Transparency International Uganda, Peter Wandera, spoke to the New Vision’s JACKY ACHAN about the state of corruption in Uganda and how it can be reduced further

Q: What is special about the fight against corruption this year and what does the theme aim to achieve?

A: There has not been any significant success in the fight against corruption despite putting systems, institutions and legal frameworks (the law) in place to fight corruption.

We need every citizen to take up this fight. In 2019, the Transparency International corruption perception index ranked Uganda at 137th out of 180 countries.

This was an improvement from the 149th position the country was ranked in 2018. The country’s score also moved at least two points from 26% in 2018 to 28% in 2019.

Uganda must take the fight against corruption a little more seriously

The improvement is not significant. The fight against corruption is complicated and has a lot of challenges, which is why we are aiming at involving the citizens in the fight.

There is a lot of apathy (a mindset that corruption is here to stay and we can do nothing about it) and people get surprised when one holds a high office and is not corrupt.

Our culture has formalised corruption. We no longer get shocked. People have embraced corruption and give the corrupt front row seats in places of worship.

Those who get rich overnight are celebrated. This is a difficult environment to fight corruption in. People must not celebrate the corrupt, but should get involved instead.

If you see a neighbour living a larger than life lifestyle, you need to report it. Those six cars he drives and the luxurious house he lives in is the reason you may not have drugs in hospitals or drive on poor roads.

Do not keep quiet when you suspect that one is involved in corruption, bringing your case forward is vital. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS Q&A

BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST

By Jacky Achan

It has been said that when plunder becomes the way of life for a group of people in a society, over the course of time, they create a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it and this seems to be the situation many countries across the world are currently faced with. According to the 2019 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, a staggering number of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption. Last year, the Transparency International corruption perception index ranked Uganda 137th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption. Though it was as an improvement from the 149th position the country was given in 2018, the improvement was not significant.

Financial implication
Every year, $1 trillion is being paid as bribes, while $2.6 trillion is stolen due to corruptive measures, according to UN statistics. Funds are lost due to corruption in developing countries, yet the money would have been used to implement development programmes.

The then Inspector General of Government, Irene Mulyagonja, takes part in the anti-corruption campaign in 2017

It is also estimated that 10 times of the funds are lost due to corruption. It is estimated that Uganda loses about $1b every year to corruption. The money has been lost through procurement diversions and re-allocation of health funds among others, plus political interference. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY

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