By Julius Odeke
The minister for ethics Fr. Simon Lokodo says Uganda is currently besieged with very worrying allegations of grand corruption notably, the mismanagement of funds in the Office of the Prime Minister totaling to Shs. 38.3 billion.
He says the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government in 1986 inherited a country characterized by political unrest, human rights abuses, state inspired violence, economic mismanagement and gross corruption.
Fr. Lokodo therefore says in order to address these evils, the government embarked on undertaking numerous structural, economic, political, administrative and legal reforms aimed at restoring good governance as evident in the various institutional, legal, political and economic reforms.
However, over the past 25 years of the NRM government, more emphasis had been put on ensuring that there is peace, security and stability and revamping the economy.
“The critical bottlenecks of ideological disorientation and a culture that lacked democracy were not critically handled. This unfortunately led to serious consequences as now manifesting in the widespread corruption and economic sabotage we are witnessing today,” he added.
He says corruption in Uganda now has become an acceptable norm and indeed a vast industry. Unfortunately this industry is only benefiting a few individuals but with very serious effects on the majority of the people of Uganda.
In political sphere, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, public institutions and offices may lose their legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interest. Corruption may also result in negative consequences such as encoring cynicism and reducing interest of political participation , political instability , reducing political competition, reducing the transparency of political decision making, distorting political development and sustaining political activity based on patronage, clientelism and money, etc.
In our society, the impact of corruption is often manifested through political intolerance, problems of accountability and transparency to the public, low level of democratic culture, principles of consultation and participation dialogue among others.
Lokodo urges Uganda to “Remain calm and allow these arms of government to do their work as required.”