CORRUPTION: Anti Graft CSOs Demand For 8 Trillion COVID 19 Funds Accountability

An LDU distributes COVID 19 relief to Ugandans, most funds are yet to be accounted for by government \Xinhua Photo


KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Though Uganda has made significant progress over the last 30 years in terms of achieving development outcomes, and fostering stability, much still needs to be done in terms of service delivery and accountability.

The country seems moving towards a democratic system of governance, but corruption still thrives in all circles.

The East African bribery Index 2017 positioned Uganda as the second most corrupt in the region with excessive corruption in police and judiciary.

Globally, the Corruption Perception Index (2019) placed Uganda 137th out of the 180 countries assessed.

Accordingly, statistics from the Global Financial Integrity Report 2018, indicates that the nation loses $1 bn annually due to corruption-related to tax evasion and money laundering.

CSOs unite to combat corruption

As the world gears up to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, Anti- Graft Civil Society Organisations have demanded for a strong legal and institutional framework to manage public funds.

The CSOs, Transparency International Uganda, the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Uganda Debt Network and ActionAid through funding from the Democratic Governance Facility applauded government for its efforts in fighting corruption but demanded that it improves communication and feedback mechanisms.

Cissy Kagaba the Executive Director ACCU said: “We urge the government to make reforms in the management of public funds, and in improving communication and feedback mechanisms with citizens.”

Kagaba told Journalists at the Media Breakfast interface held at Fairway Hotel Kampala on Monday that they (CSOs) would also love to see prosecution of the corrupt at national and local levels.

Cissy Kagaba, Peter Wandera, Christine Byiringiro during the meeting

Christine Byiringiro, who represented the Executive Director Uganda Debt Network said as Uganda joins the world to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Week, the Anti- Graft Civil Society Organisations will mainly create awareness on pertinent corruption issues.

“We shall have a series of regional activities to raise empower the citizens to rise up and fight corruption,” she said.

She said as the country gears up for elections in January 2021, the call is to the government to act on electoral and campaign financing.

“The corruption-related concerns that were raised by citizens about transparency and accountability of the Covid 19 related procurements should be addressed,” said Byiringiro.

She urged the government to put in place a call center where citizens can report cases of corruption.

“We have on our hands more than 8 trillion shillings yet to be accounted for as funds used in the fight of Covid 19. The Government Procurement Portal is yet to be used for the purpose of disclosing procurement information,” she said.

The Executive Director Transparency International Ugandan, Peter Wandera said they will hold regional conventions as activities to mark the anti-corruption week. “We shall also recognize some outstanding members of society with Integrity Awards. We call upon the public to nominate such persons.”

Arthur Oyako the Communication and Information Manager, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda urged journalists not to give up the fight on corruption.

“These days it is difficult not to read stories on corruption, but the fire seems steaming out. The media needs to do more,” said Oyako.

He said people used to “steal” millions, but now they are stealing billions and trillions. “Corruption has now even gone to the churches,” said Oyako. He said the media should dig deeper regarding accountability of the COVID 19 funds and donations. Items such as eggs, milk, cooking oil, rice and household items that were donated by individuals didn’t reach the beneficiaries, some ended up in politicians shops and homes.

He asked voters to shun politicians who are corrupt.



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