KAMPALA- President Yoweri Museveni has assured Ugandans that the problem of corruption is still defeat-able and that the country now has the manpower to handle the issue more firmly.
The President was speaking during the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of Transparency International Uganda (TIU) at Imperial Royale Hotel where a national anti-corruption dialogue was held under the theme ‘Citizen’s participation in the fight against corruption: A Sustainable Path to Uganda’s Transformation.’
Mr. Museveni who was the chief guest at the celebrations congratulated the TIU on its anniversary and informed the people that the government has given enough time for corrupt civil servants to expose themselves and that their time was up.
He noted that in the early years of 1986, the NRM government was not able to re-structure the civil service like it had done for the army because it did not have the manpower and would have created political problems.
“Even if we had the capacity to change civil servants, we would have been isolated. In terms of fairness, it was good to give people a chance. We now have manpower to select people to work, but we need to be sure about the integrity of the new ones we select,” he said.
The President said while Ugandans were complaining of officials suspected of corruption not being put in jail, it is within the law that they have to be prosecuted first. He, however, noted that while the government had put in place laws to protect public servants, there was no need for quicker methods of demanding accountability.
“The laws are there, the institutions are there but the personnel handling them are the problem. I don’t need a frightened civil service. The country needs confident and able leaders who know what is right and do what is right,” he said.
He re-echoed the people’s views that increment in the remuneration of salaries of public servants was not the cure to corruption because public servants in government institutions like KCCA, Bank of Uganda, URA were still corrupt despite the high pay.
The Bank of Uganda is under investigation by the Parliament Committee on Commissions, Statutory authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over fraudulent dealings. Previously the President has accused officials in the Ministry of Finance and the Uganda Revenue Authority of corruption.
The President said that patriotism was the cure to corruption and that he would talk more on the government’s new efforts to curb corruption on 10th December 2018.
The Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Fr. Simon Lokodo thanked the President for putting in place legal frameworks to fight corruption. He noted that government had gone into partnerships with international agencies whose main goal and focus were to fight corruption and demand for accountability, which government could not do alone.
The Chairperson of Transparency International Uganda Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio thanked the President for honoring their invitation and said that it was a citizen’s role to participate in the fight to end corruption.
The President presented awards to outstanding members in the fight against corruption and these were; Honorable Wafula Ogutu, Lady Justice Nakamya Elizabeth, and Honorable Augustine Ruzindana.
The President also received an award in recognition for his efforts of curbing corruption through setting an anti-corruption office, setting up legal frameworks to fight corruption and constantly denouncing corruption.