KAMPALA —Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-corruption Unit (SH-ACU) has rallied members of the public to actively participate in the fight against corruption.
Col. Nakalema whose unit receives 350 complaints on average every day mostly from local governments also says that having many antigraft agencies is paramount in fight against corruption
“We call upon every parent, cultural and religious leader to instill values in the young generation in their respective residences but they should also actively participate in the fight,” Nakalema said.
Asked why she is going after small technocrats in local governments and not big corrupt government officials, she said: “There is neither a big fish nor small fish. They are all thieves. Every thief is as big as the other. Its the small fish that steal and carry big sums of money to the big fish”.
“In fact, one big fish comes with a sack of Mukene and groom them to become sharks”.
She said her unit has arraigned before courts of very many people who guise and steal in the name of State House.
“A mong the 331 people we arraigned before court, 40 are impersonators and 5 have been convicted. I have personally appealed to the public to report to us anyone using the name of the President and the prominence of State House Anti-Corruption Unit to Extort from the people”.
Asked why several cases are being withdrawn from Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo revealed that some cases are withdrawn to protect public interest.
“In investigations, we follow the criminal law, the trail of evidence. The small fish fall culprit because they are often used by the big fish to steal for them. In this case who is the thief to arraign before court?
The small Mukene used to sign, make requests to the bank and withdraw the money or the big fish not tracked any where in the evidence trail! Its always the Mukene we come face to face with during the investigations.
“We are neither influenced by the politics nor any external force to withdraw some cases . If no evidence, should we continue with the file for the sake of statistics? In most cases we get the cases to court at 50% but if more details are not furnished to court to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt, then the case is exonerated”.
Abodo also denied any political interference noting that: “As the DPP, I’m mandated not only to look at the law and evidence, but to also put in the public interest”.
“In some cases there might be evidence and we have the law on our side, but how about the public interest?
“Unfortunately, Public interest is not under corruption cases but I applied it during the first lockdown to discharge over 500 inmates in Kitalya Prison to curtail the spread of Covid”..
“There was evidence against the inmates, but human interests had to be priotized
“In absence of evidence, we sometimes pardon the accomplices in return to be witnesses, instead of losing a case, we forgive those with less participation and use them to testify against the big participants in the crime”.