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Museveni decries corruption in State House, says investors bribe officials to meet him

President Museveni delivering his State of the Nation address on Thursday, June 6 at the Kololo Independence Grounds.

Kampala, (UG):- President Museveni has revealed that some of his staff at State House are culprits of the unending vice of corruption, to the extent of bribing investors both local and foreign in order to meet him.

The President who was Thursday addressing parliament during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) said the officials (whom he did not name) have not been spared by the cancer (of corruption and bribery) that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) says it costs the country at least Shs1 million every hour.

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“I have been hearing that people, even in my office, take bribes to arrange meetings with me, can you imagine? But we recently arrested one who is alleged to have extorted money from an investor. The matter is currently in court,” said Mr Museveni.

According to the President, most of the victims at State House are foreign investors who come to the country seeking to make serious ventures in different sectors of the economy. He therefore directed the Ministry of Finance to curb the high interest rates charged by money lenders to boost investment in the country but was quick to say the Finance Ministry too, has also not been spared by the vice either.

“I have been hearing that individuals from the Finance Ministry connive with accounting officers of Ministries to come to parliament so that they are given certain funds, provided they take a share. I have proof. We are going to crush them,” Mr Museveni emphatically stressed on Thursday afternoon.

“I will not grant them amnesty. With the crushing of corruption, Uganda is unstoppable. I feel amazed that some of our people can join this corruption knowing very well that we can crash this group,” he added amid a buckle of empty red seats meant for the opposition who boycotted the sitting.

Mr Museveni also reiterated that with a per capita of $1,182 Uganda had entered the lower-middle-income status.

“Uganda has just entered the middle-income status, we are currently on the lower ground. There are, however, still some trade barriers in the East African Community and these are hindering our development. I urge the community to remove these bottlenecks so as to have one common [African] market. And with this, we can be able to convince other countries to work with us as a continent,” he said.

The President was also full of praises for Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among despite ongoing allegations of gross corruption against the House she presides over and several sanctions hanging around her neck over alleged theft and misuse of public funds.

“I want to salute the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and the MPs. In the past, there was a risky and shallow tendency by some actors who tried to use Parliament to undermine the Ugandan revolution. This was a miscalculation that was provocative, but we managed to handle it peacefully,” President Museveni said.

“I am told some of the foreigners are saying that Anita Among is not a good Speaker because she does not undermine the Executive. That is a risky miscalculation,” he added.

However, many government critics, especially from the civil service and opposition politicians argue that Mr Museveni’s speeches against corruption are simply lip service given that he has had an opportunity for more than 38 years he has been in power to deal with the problem but he has chosen not to gibe that he’s willing to give amnesty to public servants who steal tax payers’ money.

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