The Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo has described the policy on zero tolerance to corruption which was recently given a green light by Cabinet as a renewed commitment by government to fight corruption in Uganda.
During a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni last week on Monday, a Zero Tolerance to Corruption Policy was approved. The objective behind the framing of this policy is to reinvigorate government’s resolve and commitment to eliminate corruption.
It also seeks to enhance the capacity of Anti-corruption agencies, establishing internal inspection units in all government institutions to effectively detect corruption, as well as strengthening partnerships among key stakeholders.
Minister Fr Lokodo told journalists at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday that while the curent government has always taken a firm stance against corruption, there has not been a supporting written policy to make the operations of anti-corruption institutions effective.
He said that the absence of this Policy has constrained the fight against corruption in Uganda.
“The Zero Tolerance to Corruption Policy is a demonstration by government to firmly renew its commitment towards the fight against corruption,” Fr Lokodo said.
“This policy will not only guide and coordinate government response towards incidences of corruption, but also provides for restoration of public sector ethics through creating appropriate behaviour change and strengthening the social and moral fabric,” he added.
The new policy will reinforce the already existing legislations including; The Inspectorate of Government Act, The Leadership Code Act, The Anti-corruption Act, The Whistleblowers’ Protection Act and The Public Finance Management Act.
However, Minister Lokodo highlighted the issue of inadequate funding towards institutions like the IGG’s office, DPP’s office, Police’s CID, PPDA, the Anti-corruption Division of the High Court and the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity whose mandate is to fight corruption.
Annually, these agencies receive Shs 117.6 billion for their operations. But Lokodo says that there is a funding gap of Shs 11 billion.
Countering the sophisticated nature of corruption requires heavy investment by government to build the requisite and robust capability, he said.
Last month, while commissioning factories in the Sukulu Industrial Park, Tororo, President Museveni called on Ugandans to cooperate with government in the fight against corrupt tendencies by volunteering information.
“That [corruption] is a simple fight. We shall wipe it out as long as we get the facts,” Museveni said.
During the commissioning ceremony, Museveni particulary condemned government officials whom he labelled as ‘flies’ and ‘parasites’ that go around hovering and feed off investors.
“You hear that there are flies who hover wherever there are left overs of food. Those flies must be fumigated because they disturb our investors,” he said.
“We are going to lock them up,” the President warned.
He called on Ugandans to cooperate with government in the fight against corrupt tendencies by volunteering information. Thus it is a simple fight that will be won, he said.
“That is a simple fight. We shall wipe it out as long as we get the facts,” Museveni said.