KAMPALA – Corruption affects all areas of society partner up to produce strong impact. Preventing corruption unlocks progress towards sustainable development goals, helps to protect our Nation, creates jobs, achieves gender equality and secures wider access to essential services such as health care, food, and education. Misconduct and wrongdoing is stealing away valuable resources at a time when they are most needed to respond and recover from Covid 19 crisis.
The 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day seeks to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone including states, government officials, law enforcement officers, media, private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth in tackling corruption. Working in partnership is critical now in the fight against corruption. The heads are better than one as it goes. Strengthening already existing partnerships is the way to go in fighting corruption.
Corruption has long been recognized as a major impediment to development, steals from the poor and erodes progress. Corruption takes many form from massive theft to low-level corruption that erodes productivity and weakens service delivery. Directs valuable resources from financing development and recovery efforts. If unchecked corruption poses a threat to reducing poverty and supporting shared prosperity as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. This age-long problem keeps evolving and we hear scandals in various sectors in our Nation from food relief disappearing to medicines and free drugs being absent in government hospitals.
Strengthening unity and cohesion of all Anti-Corruption stakeholders will create a formidable, aggressive, yet impactful force on cancer. Shared inter-sectoral responsibility in the fight adds more weight. Every single person young and old has a role to play to prevent and counter corruption in order to promote resilience and integrity at all levels of society. While strong policies, robust systems, great laws, credible institutions, and measures are in place actual working in partnership is key. The government’s strong will to fight has been evident in establishing networks. Strengthening the Inter-Agency Forum, Accountability Sector, Justice Law and Order Sector will create a sustainable yet tangible fight against corruption.
Whereas Anti-Corruption partnerships are already in motion more is still needed in concretizing networks, building more bridges and creating regular engagements. Adopting a digital cohesive platform for regular consultation and strategy is the way to go. Strong working partnerships, strongly counter syndicates and schemes. Collective action against corruption through multi-stakeholder engagement with government, private sector and civil society as well as empowering communities is the partnership that will work.
The integrated approach to Anti-Corruption through facilitated, empowered and supported partnerships will promote a steady fight, first and inclusive strategy and strengthen accountability, transparency and Anti-Corruption in the time of Covid 19 and beyond.
A joint response has more weight against corruption. Strong public agencies partnering with private agencies, companies, media, the youth and the communities in the fight against corruption will curtail it. The partnership entails social mobilizing and communities partnering to monitor government action, policies and programs with strong adherence to transparency and accountability. Through coalitions and companies’ special interest groups work in partnerships with public and private institutions to fight against corruption and abuse of fundamental Human Rights.
The fight against corruption requires a joint strategy and cohesive force to curtail it. We must kick corruption out of Uganda together. After all opportunities increase when you work with others to win. A little win for a partner is a little win for you. Make it a partnership and build an empire.
Ms. Joyce Nalunga Birimumaaso, senior advocate and member, Leadership Code Tribunal