By Adellah Agaba
Published: 9th December 2015
Corruption is the behaviour on the part of officials in the public sector, whether politicians or civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves, or those close to them, by the misuse of the public power entrusted to them. This would include embezzlement of funds, theft of corporate or public property as well as corrupt practices such as bribery, extortion or influence peddling. The political pronouncements notwithstanding, corruption continues to present one of the biggest impediments to development in Uganda.
Key Government Officials during the Anti-Corruption Week launch: Inspector General of Government Mrs. Irene Mulyagonja, 3rd Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja and Auditor General Mr. John Muwanga.
Corruption in Uganda is said to be systemic and institutionalized. It is further observed that corruption and poor accountability is evident at all levels of governance. This is evident in instances like flouting of public procurement regulations; exercising undue influence in recruitment and promotions; bribery; misuse of funds; buying votes; forging academic papers, among others. Corruption has continued to flourish in every sector of society and the public is becoming immune to this evil to an extent of tolerating it while, oftentimes, the corrupt are admired. This has greatly contributed to the breakdown of the ethical values system of the society. It is not for the lack of strategies, laws or institutions that corruption has thrived; it is rather the lack of political will and commitment to the full implementation of the laws and policies.
UDN Staff during the launch of the Anti-Corruption Week in Kampala.
The participation of civil society in the fight against corruption remains relevant and CSOs have begun to organize themselves into inclusive and all-embracing nation-wide campaigns aimed at boosting their energies in the fight against corruption. The role of Parliament as the overall oversight institution of the State - in establishing ethics and integrity in public office and as the front-runner in demanding for accountability, open and transparent governance and in its ability to check excessive power of the State while representing the interests of the electorate - cannot be underestimated.
It is our duty to fight corruption together.