KAMPALA: Through prosecutions, and other measures used to compel corrupt officials to refund embezzled funds, State House Anti Corruption Unit has registered a huge success against corruption and has been able to recover over UGX30 billion tax payers’ money.
Over the week, State House Anti Corruption Unit has in liaison with Police made several arrests in an attempt to stop corruption, and recover stolen government funds.
On Wednesday, July 8, 2022, State House Anti Corruption Unit in liaison with Uganda Police and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) arrested Nimrode Hamome-Senior Procurement Officer, Paul Diogo-Acting Natural Resources Officer and Laban Nkyadi-Senior Assistant Accountant all of Kaliro District.
The suspects are accused of causing financial loss of over UGX6.5 billion through illegal deductions of salaries and other government funds through their staff SACCO.
Others still at large include; the CFO Godfrey Mutume and the Principal Resources Officer Rebecca Kwagala.
Also on Thursday, July 9, 2022, the Anti Corruption Unit arrested Jinja city government officials for the illegal sale and mismanagement of government school land.
Those arrested include; Amina Mutesi-Jinja City Education Officer, Peter Mawerere-District Town Clerk, Fred Waiswa-Senior Land Management Officer, Charles Nampendo-Senior Physical Planner, Joy Kasowole-Acting Town Clerk and Ismail Batabani.
According to the Unit, the land belongs to Spire Road and Lake Site Primary Schools, Jinja District.
“It is also alleged that Mutesi diverted Universal Primary Education (UPE) funds amounting to UGX1.4 billion to a private account of a Teacher’s Association and illegally hired out Spire Road structures to Makerere and Team Universities,” State House Anti Corruption Unit wrote on Twitter.
Head of State House Anti Corruption Unit Brig.Gen.Henry Isoke is determined to win the war against corruption in Uganda, by leaving no stone unturned.
On Thursday afternoon, Brig.Gen. Isoke was in Sera Kasenyi Military Academy giving a presention to Senior Police Officers on the Strategies of Winning the Fight Against Corruption, a fight that he strongly believes is winnable.
Corruption in Uganda is characterized by grand-scale theft of public funds and petty corruption involving public officials at all levels of society as well as widespread political patronage systems.
According to the 2021 Inspectorate of Government Integrity Survey, Uganda loses over 20 trillion shillings in corruption annually, or slightly half of the economy.
The survey indicates that at least 131 billion Shillings is lost through taxation, 459 billion Shillings lost in user fees utilities, another 820 billion Shillings lost in natural resources, and 15 billion Shillings lost in environmental degradation. The survey also found that two billion Shillings is lost as a result of absenteeism in government departments, 451 billion Shillings in health care and education services, 86 billion Shillings in security provision, 590 billion Shillings in procurement and budgeting, and 233 billion Shillings in regulation.
As a measure to curb the vice, efforts by all the responsible people including locals to whistle blow corrupt government officials was proposed.
However in 2021, an Afrobarometer survey indicated that more than three-quarters (77%) of Ugandans believe that citizens who report corruption to the authorities risk retaliation or other negative consequences.
This has however been tackled by the State House Anti Corruption Unit through encouraging Ugandans to do the right thing and focus on getting the job done at all costs because failing to recognize the need for systemic vigilance, against poor standards, enables corruption to flourish.