Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Anti-corruption agencies have launched drama series dubbed ‘Listen to Uganda’ aimed at reinforcing the fight against corruption in the country.
The launch by the Inspectorate of Government (IG), Office of the Auditor General (OAG), State House Anti-Corruption Unit and other agencies came after the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day, 2020.
The initiative according to the Deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG) Mariam Wangadya was decided upon as one of the several initiatives this year aimed at building citizen participation in the fight against corruption under the theme “Promoting Social Accountability through Active Citizenry”.
Wangadya said that the anti-corruption agencies created a partnership with Wizarts Foundation to produce and broadcast the radio drama series on interrogating the role of social expectations in fueling people’s abuse of entrusted power.
“We believe that these radio dramas will effectively relay the relevant anti-corruption messages to the public in a simplified yet educative and entertaining manner,” she said in part.
Diana Kabenge, the acting executive director Wizarts Foundation, an NGO spearheading the production of the radio drama series said that the innovation will help contribute to the reduction of corruption practices in Uganda.
She explained that the drama series will depict different corruption scenarios and will be followed by a live discussion segment with a technical expert in studio. The weekly drama series will be produced in partnership with 150 radio stations across the country in six languages which are English, Luganda, Runyakitara, Luo, Ateso, and Lumasaba.
“The discussion segments will enable community engagement through call-ins and the expert will be available to address whatever questions the community members might have,” said Kabenge. “It is through such innovations that access to information is increased so citizens can fulfill their Constitutional obligation to combat corruption and wastage of public resources.”
John Paul Ejule, the monitoring and evaluation manager at Wizarts Foundation said that the weekly drama series are scheduled to start on 20th December 2020 until May 2021.
The Deputy IGG Wangadya emphasized that each episode will tell a different story, underscoring a different corruption issue and teaching a different message.
She said that the citizens will be empowered with necessary information to fight corruption and ensure that they get government services they are entitled to without paying a bribe.
John Muwanga, the Auditor General in his speech delivered by the Director in charge of Technical Services, Dr. Ogentho Poul Maxwell said that the new drama series and this year’s theme of anti-corruption campaign is very appropriate since citizens are the real owners of public resources.
“Public officers are appointed and elected to work as agents of citizens, therefore, it requires the owners themselves get actively involved. The fight against corruption requires the concerted efforts of everyone. The corrupt have formed a syndicate therefore to fight it; we the fighters must also form a syndicate to counter the corrupt,” said the Auditor General.
Muwanga appealed that the citizens through their participation join the anti-corruption agencies and widen visibility to scare away and deny the corrupt an opportunity to misuse public resources.
Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the Head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit said that the new drama touches the heart and minds of all citizens. She appealed to every citizen to pick lessons and help out in the fight against corruption through rejection of all corrupt tendencies and reporting the corrupt.
Nakalema noted that the country needs to focus more on educating the citizens especially about the process of reporting the corrupt and helping out to be witnesses so that cases taken before courts of law are concluded quickly.
Studies like the Global Integrity report have in the past years estimated that more than half of the government’s budget is lost to corruption each year.
According to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, Uganda is the 149th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries. The country’s best ranking on corruption was in 1996, when Uganda was ranked 43, reaching an all-time high of 151 in 2016.