Government has started off a midterm review exercise to assess the implementation of the National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS).
The five year plan started in 2019/20- 2023/24 and has one year left to the end of the five years, launched together with the Zero Tolerance to Corruption Policy to revitalize the war against corruption in Uganda.
The Policy aimed at ensuring transparent, accountable, efficient, and effective use of public resources to attain the desired social economic transformation of Uganda from peasant to a middle income economy.
The Policy also aims at strengthening formal coordination and partnerships between state and non-state actors lime Ministry, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and local governments.
Others include Religious and Faith Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Cultural Institutions, the private sector and media institutions to improve joint action against corruption.
Now, through the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, under the office of the President, a midterm assessment is being conducted across all parts of the Country to understand the extent of the Implementation of the Zero Tolerance to Corruption Policy since it’s in 2019 to date.
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The assessment started off in the Lango Sub region, to be followed by Acholi, West Nile, Teso, Elgon, Kigezi, Rwenzori and Central regions respectively.
With funding from the International Monetary Fund, the exercise will last for more than a month and thereafter a monitoring and Evaluation report will be released for the way forward.
In the Lango sub region, the assessment teams conducted meetings with different stakeholders from Dokolo, Amolator where as in Acholi they held consultations from Omoro and Oyam districts respectively.
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Speaking in a meeting to Dokolo district Local Government, the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity Permanent Secretary Mr. Alex B Okello said the assessment is to establish how the government is performing in the fight against corruption.
“ You will always want to check, look back, am I doing it rightly, how far have we gone, is it in the right track or not, normally we call it midterm assessment so that when it ends, you know that ya we achieved that, if it’s not going well, everybody will things are not going well, we make changes”
“I have been going around the Country teaching about this strategy and Zero Tolerance to corruption, and in 1989, the first Minister for ethics was appointed to fight corruption but they started putting in place other institutions like the IGG, so, that policy started work even though it was not yet compiled and written together but now is written as a book,” he added.
Asked about the relation between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the ongoing assessment, Mr Okello said IMF is one of the partners.
“IMF is one of the partners, the fight against corruption calls upon development partners to do their part. But of course there some donors who also properpators or who encourage corruption themselves, that the truth we know it,”
“IMF asked us that we want an evaluation of this strategy which is very good. How far have the stakeholders done but we said we did not have the money until IMF provided the funding to do the assessment and government decided Directorate of Ethics to carry out the Assessment before the evaluator who will carry out the Monitoring and Evaluation on IMF behalf comes,”
Dokolo district Local Government Resident Commissioner Babra Akech called for the witness protection law to be exercised to give chance whistle blowers to always give testimony in courts of law for logical conclusions of all anti corruption cases reported.
“Some body will blow the whistle and will be confident because he/she knows I am protected. A situation when witnesses are not protected, someone can burn our people in the house, somebody can go and burn our people in the house, someone can lay an ambush on the road, somebody can hire people to beat and forces many to shy away from witnessing in anti corruption cases,”
The Chairperson of all Local Council Three (LCIII) and town council chairpersons in Dokolo district local government Mr. Eton Rashid believes whoever is found guilty to be jailed.
“Sensitization should be ongoing and the people who embezzle the money should be taken for jailing because if there left free they will continue to eat the money and reimburse the money embezzled and bonding and bailing them out of jails should be removed to all those implicated in corruption scandals’’.