- 3.6 billion has been recovered in 2023
- Strengthening partnerships in a war against Corruption is the way to go
- The 3rd edition of Anti – corruption Marathon took place in Bukwo district.
The state House Anti-Corruption Unit, Civil Society and IGG office and other anti-corruption agencies have declared a new war against corruption in the country.
The Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit since its inception from 2018, it has recovered over 55 billion Uganda shillings, 521 accused persons have been arraigned in Court, 87 have been convicted of which 59 are public officials and 31 private persons.
Out of 521 that have been arraigned in Court, 282 are civil servants, 48 from central government,170 from local government, 64 statutory and 239 Private persons.
According to her in this space of five years, the Unit has received over 512,102 Complaints, these including abuse of office public assets, conflict of interest, Land related disputes Tax Evasion among others.
In 2019, the unit recovered 10billion, in 2020 it recovered 27billion, in 2021 20.6 billion was recovered, in 2022 it was 3.3 billion and as of October 2023 the unit has recovered 3.6billion
Speaking during the third Sebei region anti-Corruption Marathon and Citizen’s dialogue held at Amanang Secondary school in Bukwo district on 3rd, Sunday December 2023, Ms. Natasha Mariam, the Senior Public relations office of the Unit noted that, the Unit has embarked on strengthening its collaborations with civil society in the fight against Corruption.
“We have joined other Anti -corruption agencies and the civil society to participate in this Anti-Corruption Marathon, this is an event that has always been taking place and this year we are happy considering that the theme is strengthening partnerships in the war against Corruption. Natasha said.
She noted that the state house anti-corruption unit believes that government agencies together with citizens who are the main stakeholders and civil society it’s good all to come together to fight the vice of corruption.
“As we all know that the problem of corruption cannot be fought by only the government or individuals, it has to be a collective effort and that is why we are happy that now we are strengthening our partnership, relationship and collaboration with Civil society and we need all to work together to fight this”. She added.
“The fact that we need each other for example, us anti-corruption unit our role is to coordinate these different agencies, this means when we receive cases we cannot work on them in individuality, we need to work with others for example all our case are investigated by CID which is Part of police, some of the cases are referred to office of IGG, if there audit queries it goes to auditor general meaning that it is a must for all of us to come together in this war”. Natasha said.
At the Statehouse anti-corruption unit on average daily we receive about 200 complaints, so that shows the public are engaging and we also respond but given the workload and some of challenges like the number of investigators but we are handling and that why strengthening partnerships is important at this point because if you receive 200 cases daily you cannot handle them alone, you need to bring other parties on board”. Natasha further noted.
On his part, Mr. Joseph Muramuzi, an officer from the Inspectorate of government’s office, said unfortunate many citizens have looked at the war against corruption as a fight for only the anti-corruption agencies.
”In addressing this missing link, However, we are now bringing it to the people and other stakeholders to inform them that when you are fighting a war, you can leave it to a few, we have to muscle up and join forces to take on this work together,” he said during the Anti-Corruption Marathon 2023.
Mr. Xavier Ejoyi, the Action aid country director, re-echoed the need of involving citizens in fighting against corruption and asked the inspector of the government to listen to their concerns.
He said that most times Citizens are denied quality public services because of corruption yet they are taxpayers and voters, who vote public officials into office.
Xavier further said that as Action aid and other civil societies, their role is to support citizens to lead the fight against corruption. We look to the inspector of the government to be accessible to citizens, listen to them and respond to their concerns but also make information available on corrupt government officers so that we can champion the advocacy to end corruption in Uganda.
He also called upon the parliament to enact he whistleblower’s’ protection act to ensure that they are protected and facilitated.
In the same way, Mr. Jose Jimmy Lorwor, the Chief Administrative Officer of Bukwo district Local government, said the cases of corruption in the area have reduced due to several interventions, however he urged the anti-corruption agencies to work with speed in carrying out investigations.
“There were issues of ghost projects, and all these were investigated by the office of the IGG and other government anti -corruption agencies. To date as I talk, we have not heard of any of those files sanctioned, we don’t know whether they are still carrying out the investigations or something else is going on,”.
The third edition of Sebei region anti-corruption Marathon saw hundreds of runners taking part and winners were awarded by the organizers, Action Aid international Uganda with cash.
The Marathon had participants in 21KM, 10KM, 5KM, 3KM and also there was a special category which saw, officials from CSOs, Government anti-corruption agencies taking part in two laps and this category was won by Moses Kipsiro.