Kampala, (UG): The Anti-Corruption Convention 2023 Conference concluded on Thursday, December 07, with a resounding call for concerted efforts to combat the theft of public funds.
Col Edith Nakalema, Head of the newly formed State House Investors Protection Unit, delivered a powerful message emphasizing the need for unity among state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption.
Drawing from her background, Col Nakalema highlighted the significance of integrity and moral values in eradicating this pervasive vice. She urged parents to instill these values in their children to foster responsible citizenship.
Similarly, Mr Amos Ngolobe, a representative from the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, shed light on the challenges hindering the fight against corruption. These include limited investigators, a shortage of forensic auditors, and inadequate audit reports.
Ngolobe advocated for harsher penalties for corrupt public officials, expressing dissatisfaction with the current 14-year jail term for those convicted of embezzling taxpayers’ money.
“There is a need to adopt a preventive approach as opposed to post-mortem in dealing with corruption, considering the time taken in justice and prosecution procedures,” He said.
Mr Ngolobe further raised concerns about the perplexing scenario where individuals suspected of corruption continue to hold public office during legal proceedings and highlighted instances where convicted individuals still receive salaries even after being terminated from their positions.
During panel discussions, officials from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Office of the Auditor General, and the Inspector General of Government convened and collectively observed a troubling trend wherein senior corrupt officials exploit their subordinates to execute illicit deals, resulting in substantial financial losses for the government.
Ms. Jane Okelowange, a member of the Leadership Code Tribunal highlighted the role played by the Government players at the Anti-Corruption Convention and emphasized the need to continuously sensitize the population about corruption and its negative effects.
The consensus among participants was a call to action, urging all stakeholders to prioritize collaboration in the ongoing fight against corruption.
The conference’s participants collectively emphasized the urgent need to address systemic challenges identified in the battle against corruption. The hope is that collaborative efforts will curb the misappropriation of public funds, leading to greater accountability across various sectors.
As the conference concluded, the Anti-Corruption Coalition issued a call to arms, urging organizations, government bodies, and citizens to work together in a united front against corruption.
The fight against corruption, they emphasized, is not solely the responsibility of one entity but requires a collective and sustained effort to build a society rooted in transparency, accountability, and ethical governance.
Organized by the Anti-Corruption Coalition, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the one-day event held on December 07, at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala brought together stakeholders from various sectors to address the pressing issue of corruption.
In the wake of this conference, the spotlight now turns to the practical implementation of strategies discussed, with stakeholders expected to actively contribute to the ongoing battle against corruption. The success of these efforts holds the key to safeguarding public funds, ensuring a fair and just society for all.
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