NAMUTUMBA, UGANDA: President Museveni has vowed to institute an independent anti-corruption unit specifically dedicated to combating bribery among corrupt politicians and civil servants in public offices countrywide.
Mr Museveni revealed this while officiating the labour day celebration at Namutumba district on Monday, May 1, 2023, saying bribery and delayed decision-making raise the cost of doing business in Uganda as he has received complaints about such acts.
“I am using this Labour Day to tell everybody that we are going to have a big fight. I am going to set up another small unit in my office where the investors can ring directly if anybody asks them for a bribe or delays decisions,” Mr Museveni said on Wednesday afternoon.
“Don’t delay any decisions; don’t ask for bribes. Assist the wealth creators, meaning Parish Development Model (PDM) must move very fast and correctly, and so must Emyooga,” he added.
The President also applauded the army for doing its work, adding that they have stabilized the country, the policies of the government are good, and that’s why investors are coming to Uganda in great numbers.
The new anti-corruption unit once created will join a considerably long list of constitutional bodies like the Inspectorate of Government (IG), Auditor General, Parliament, Judiciary and police in the fight against corruption.
Besides the constitutional bodies, there are already two known parallel organs located inside the State House also dedicated to the same purpose (fighting corruption); these are; the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (Shacu) with its unlimited reach, and the Health Monitoring Unit which is supposed to keep tabs on public health service delivery.
The 2023 International Labour Day celebrations were held under the theme: “Promoting positive work, culture and ethics: A perspective for increased investment, employment opportunities, and household incomes”.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms Betty Amongi in her speech said poor ethics and corruption are failing the country, adding that we have people who go to court with bags of money, place the money on the table and then leave, before coming back in the evening with “expectations”.
She said she was appalled to learn from the Judiciary that the Commercial Division of the High Court had cases worth Shs837 billion in land, property, loans from moneylenders and banks, compensation, investment disagreements, and racketeering, which she said are all occasioned by unethical behaviour.
“Unethical behaviour is costing the country heavily; for example, it is estimated that between Shs150 billion and Shs314 billion is lost annually in greater Kampala to collapsed buildings occasioned by shoddy works.
“Also, because of shoddy works on infrastructure, roads done in Greater Kampala peel off after three years, indicating that there is collusion between the technical teams and contractors, then there are evictions due to forged land titles,” she added.
Reflecting on the irony that 70 per cent of Ugandans profess one religion or the other, Ms Amongi cited ethical forms of corruption, including soliciting bribes or working short hours, adding that unethical behaviour in economic costs can’t be underestimated.
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