Fighting corruption in Uganda or institutionalizing corruption?

In a show of politics, President Museveni held an anti-corruption walk last week in Kampala from constitution square to Kololo independence ground. The chronicity of corruption in Uganda is uniformly political and bureaucratic. It is Bureaucratic in the sense that most cases of corruption in Uganda take place in service delivery and rule enforcement. Corruption in Uganda is assessed to have two sides: demand-induced and supply-induced. While Political corruption occurs at high levels of politics.

There are ‘political untouchables’ and businessmen in Uganda who are above the law and above institutional control mechanisms. The established institutions of checks and balances in Uganda have assiduously continued to have a limited bearing on corruption. Neither coherent anti-corruption norms nor severe formal sanctions are able to dishearten certain politicians and civil servants in Uganda from the deviant behaviour of structural corruption.

President Museveni’s walk to fight corruption is a political gymnastic and the truth is that most Ugandans don’t believe the walk will stop corruption in Uganda; there is no political will in fighting corruption in Uganda. Given a series of Corruption cases that include;

Following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2008, a cable from the American Embassy in Kampala to the USA read in part, “The U.K. is considering visa restrictions for senior Ugandan officials guilty of misusing $27 million allocated to the November 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala. The British said their primary target was Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa” (2010 January 13, 14:02 From: Uganda Kampala To: Central Intelligence Agency […] Secretary of State | United Kingdom London […] Source: Wikileaks).

Mr Kutesa together with ministers John Nasasira and Mwesigwa Rukutana were tried in Uganda for contributing to the loss. They were acquitted in 2012 for lack of evidence.

Recently,  Sam Kutesa Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs  and President Museveni were labeled as Exhibit 1504 and 1510 in a bribery scandal in USA in which SAM Kutesa was found guilty. Other cases include;  The Crane Bank Ltd, Makerere and Katosi Road scandals.

The Global Fund scandal where Ugandan shillings worth 95.8bn meant for malaria and tuberculosis drugs programmes was stolen and Culprits in the case were not punished.  The cases of corruption in Uganda can’t be exhausted.

The purpose of the walk is to hoodwink Ugandans and international community that President Museveni is committed in fighting corruption in Uganda in order to redeem the bad image of Uganda following numerous reports indicating Uganda as the most corrupt country. According to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, Uganda is the 149 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries.

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