Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament have called upon the government to improve its efforts in fighting corruption as the country commemorates International Anti-Corruption Day.
This came as a response to a statement from the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Rose Lilly Akello, who stated that government would be commemorating the annual International Anti-Corruption day on 9th December 2021, serving as a climax of various anti-corruption activities that have been ongoing.
She said this time around, the celebrations seek to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone including the state, government officials, civil servants, law enforcement, media, the private sector and other stakeholders.
Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikuubo, said that much as the government is doing fairly well in fighting corruption, they have been able to do only a fraction of what is required and should work harder in suppressing the vice.
“Over Ush15 trillion is presumably gone in corruption yet the Inspectorate of Government has only been able to collect Ush2 billion. This number needs to lower,” Ssekikuubo said.
He stated that government needs to enhance the remuneration of prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the judicial system and the security agencies so as to support the fight.
“We must pay the police, which is the investigating arm of government because they are handicapped. Someone who earns hundreds of thousands cannot investigate billions of shillings,” Ssekikuubo remarked.
Robert Migadde, Buvuma Island County MP said the arms of government should work together to tackle corruption.
“Most of the time, people convicted for corruption end up in the Judiciary arm of government and sometimes the system is unfair with the biggest perpetrators of the vice facing lenient punishment as opposed to the smaller offenders,” he pointed out.
Migadde said it should be the collective effort of all in government from the Local Government up to the Executive to fight corruption.
Cecilia Ogwal, Dokolo District MP said corruption has become a song everywhere and it is sang without any formidable result.
“Corruption is a multi-faceted vice that manifests in many ways, for example, favoritism, nepotism, tribalism; resources invested in form of creation of agencies and jobs to support the aforementioned vices,” she added.
The Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, asked the Minister of Ethics to provide her request for extra funding to fight corruption to Parliament because it will be supported.
He said accountability committees of Parliament have handled and submitted several reports recommending that action be taken to mitigate acts of corruption but government has not taken heed.
“We need the government to submit treasury memoranda on all the reports it has never responded to because these reports are indictments of the corrupt and if ignored they are left to their devices,” Mpuuga said.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, suggested that the government introduces stringent laws that are extremely punitive to those who engage in corruption.
The theme of the International Anti-Corruption Day is, “Promoting active citizen participation in social accountability”.