Last Updated on: 14th March 2022, 04:15 pm
Corruption is putting Uganda’s economic growth in a total lockdown
By ECUNGU GEORGE WILLIAM
Soroti – March 14, 2022: Corruption continues to rise in the Pearl of Africa, a reason as to why our economic development is still hanging behind compared to our agemate countries in Africa in terms of decolonisation.
Corruption is an illegal act and Uganda as a country has enacted laws prohibiting corruption such as the Anti Corruption Act, among others.
According to the Anti Corruption Act of Uganda, corruption is categorized into many ways including bribery, tribalism, favouritism among others.
From time immemorial, many people say that corruption is only practised by government officials. I would like to make it clear that corruption is practised by individuals, those in government offices, those in private offices, and the worst of it is that even those in church or mosque sometimes fall victims of corruption.
The Uganda Anti-corruption act clearly states that to involve yourself in any act of corruption is against law and whoever does this shall be dealt with according to law.
Not only the Uganda anti-corruption Act but also the Bible which warns children of God against stealing in the book of Deuteronomy.
There are usually two parties involved in corruption that is to say the giver and the receiver. In most cases, people tend to treat only the receiver and they omit the giver.
This is wrong. Both the one who offers anything for an act of corruption to be performed and the one who receives anything promising to perform the act of corruption are all criminals.
We are not supposed to portion blame to one party but all. This is because of the existing relationship between the two. A person can not receive a bribe if the one to offer it has not accepted to offer, the same way, a person can not give out a bribe if no one has shown interest to take the bribe.
That is why it is so logical that we have to think deep and change our minds if we want to reduce cases of corruption. The point here is that corruption starts from your heart, if you fail to eliminate it, it appears through your behaviour, then finally through your acts.
For instance, during recruitment to public service commission, an applicant resolves internally that a bribe must be offered, the applicant goes ahead to sell off a bull and proceeds to service commission, from there the applicant meets an official who has also resolved to receive a bribe, that official meets the applicant secretly and at last an act of corruption is performed and the job is given to an incompetent applicant.
I want to call upon Ugandans that if we want to eliminate the vice of corruption, let each one start by fighting against his or her ‘insider corruption’ and when each one becomes victorious in the internal fight, then we can come together to fight against the ‘outsider corruption’ which is putting the development of our economy into a total lockdown.
You can not start moving around that you are fighting against corruption yet you are also corrupt. It is like a rebel leader who comes for peace talks, he accepts to leave the bush but refuses to hand over the firearms.
Secondly, authorities that are in the frontline of fighting against corruption such as IGG, should embark on total clearance of the lake. I would prefer earth scorched policy against corrupt persons.
Also, they should drop one status and allow the law to work since no one is above the law. our ears and eyes are tired of hearing and watching only smaller fish tilapia being caught in the lake and crocodiles are left swimming destroying our economy.
The government of the Republic of Uganda has tried its best to ensure that corruption is made illegal through the enactment of laws against corruption, sensitizing community members and even establishing anti-corruption units such as IGG.
The only challenge now and a task remaining is government to equip people on how to spy out acts of corruption, where to report such cases and to provide enough protection to people who advocate for the elimination of Corruption in Uganda. This is because, In most cases, one may be having all proof to justify the act but fear looms when it comes to reporting such cases since people fear that when you report, you shall be dealt with.
The writer is an opinion leader and political activist in Teso subregion.