President Yoweri Museveni is due to announce new measures aimed at stamping out cases of graft, in a national address scheduled for Monday afternoon.
According to the State House, President Yoweri Museveni will launch a State House Anti-corruption Unit after which he will deliver a televised address to the nation touching specifically on corruption.
The address today will be carried LIVE by all major broadcasters (Radios and TVs) starting at 2pm.
President Museveni who has led Uganda for over three decades is credited for ushering in peace and stability, transformed the economy, championed women’s rights, introduced universal education and improved infrastructure among other achievements.
However, the deeply entrenched corruption across government agencies including the judiciary and Police has been a major source of criticism towards Museveni. Many have accused him of failure to weed out corrupt elements.
Last week, the President remarked that much as he has the political will, this is frustrated by civil servants who manipulate the law to favour their corrupt conduct. He promised today’s address would unveil “major pronouncements” on the fight against corruption.
An ongoing probe set up by Museveni into land management, has already unearthed several cases of extortion and other corrupt tendencies in the Uganda Land Commission while several other government officials have been implicated in land related fraud.
A report from a previous probe also set up by Museveni into Uganda National Roads Authority (URA) similarly discovered that officials at the agency which is among the most funded, had caused loss of billions of Shillings to government due to corruption and fictitious procurement procedures.
In October, Museveni warned officials in government who frustrate investment by extorting money from potential investors threatening he will lock them up.
He said this while commissioning the first phase of the Uganda-China Industrial Centre in Sukulu, Tororo district.
“Uganda will become more competitive in doing business. This is however if you fight corruption. 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.
Last year, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Herbert Kabafunzaki was arrested on suspicion that he had solicited a Shs 15 million bribe from an investor.
Whereas the President intends to unveil a new Unit, housed at State House to fight corruption, some analysts have recently criticized this move and instead advocated for adequate funding for institutions like the IGG’s Office and Anti-corruption Court which are mandated to fight graft.
In July this year, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja appealed to President Museveni to consider increasing funding to the Inspectorate other than setting up a new anti-corruption Unit.
Mulyagonja was commenting on President Museveni’s remarks which he made during the State of the Nation Address that the IGG’s Office has failed in its mandate of investigating and prosecuting corrupt government officials.
“The budget and resources we have are not supportive. We don’t have a forensic laboratory, you know that right now investigations require to investigate things that have been done on computers. We are relying on the Government Analytical Laboratory and when you go there, you must line up with the Police and other institutions that use the services,” Mulyagonja said.
“If there is money that is going to be put in the Unit [State House Anti-corruption Unit] to investigate corruption, we would request that the money be given to us as the Inspectorate because we need it,” Mulyagonja requested.