OP-ED

Stop using Hon Among as a scapegoat, correct the system

By Odeke Bazel

Corruption is a pervasive, dishonest, destructive, criminal, and exploitative phenomenon that has taken root in many entities, groupings, and countries. Despite efforts to denounce and discard it in pursuit of economic growth, transparency, and accountability, corruption remains a significant challenge, especially in developing countries like Uganda.

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In Uganda, the fight against corruption has been ongoing, but has anyone been held accountable for their actions? Are the systems in place functional, and what image does this send to the younger generation? What can we expect from the “Bazukulu” if the situation persists?

Recently, allegations have been made against the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Anita Annet Among, regarding property ownership, service awards, and leadership of the house. These allegations have drawn the attention of many Ugandans and the President. However, we tend to forget that our country is like a movie, where one fault overshadows another, and we have no option but to watch.

When the Inspector General of Government (IGG) directed Ugandans to declare their assets, how many did so with honesty and transparency? Why did we have lengthy discussions about it, and why did some leaders evade the process? If leaders lived transparent and honest lives, how many would own properties abroad? If we exhibited the properties like we did with parliament, we would be shocked to the bone marrow.

Hon. Among was inaugurated into a system already in disarray. Why make her a scapegoat? When the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was presented, nearly everyone backed the speaker against it, despite the negative consequences that followed. When the bill was passed and endorsed against Western aspirations, sanctions emerged, and the UK Government declared cold war. Why didn’t the UK Government declare Among’s property ownership then, if they truly loved to see us prosper?

The issue shows that many leaders own properties abroad, and Uganda is like a business interior where beneficiaries will leave for their countries of relevance when what attracted them is ancient history. When this regime leaves power, we shall see who the real Ugandans are. How many prominent leaders have received medical treatment within the country’s borders? How many times have we waited at airports for leaders who lost the battle to life to return in caskets, with millions spent on transport? What is the state of our health and education centers? How many companies have we licensed to haul impoverished Ugandans abroad despite alarming conditions there? How much money have we lost to ghost investors, like Lubowa and Atiak Sugar Factory?

Bishop Maponga once said, “The problem we have is not just President Museveni, but the system.” Who created the system? We have turned Parliament into a house for achieving and propelling individual interests. The leadership of parliament is manipulated using black psychology, making us forget who the real leader is and their motives.

Hon. Annet Among might have erred like any other human due to the system, but that doesn’t make others holy and angelic. It’s just a matter of time. If the UK is operating on the reality principle, let all leaders who are in the same pursuit be brought to the record. By doing so, we will have settled the score.

In conclusion, until government institutions operate with sincerity and free will until corruption scandals are handled genuinely at all levels, and not just on individuals we have a grudge against, corruption will remain present tense, and everyone will have to practice it openly upon any opportunity.

The author is a Researcher, Political Commentator, and Social Worker.

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