As the Africa Anti-Corruption Day draws closer, Action Aid International Uganda will host the National Citizens Integrity Awards in partnership with Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, Transparency International Uganda, Uganda Debt Network, Inspectorate of Government, Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, regional partners, and the Media.
11 July marks the day that the African Union set as the Africa Anti-Corruption Day with the aim for communities in Africa to pause and reflect on anti-corruption efforts. The initiative started in early 2000, where ActionAid International Uganda and its partners introduced citizen audits to inform the naming and shaming of public officers to put citizens at the center of the fight against corruption.
Communities were supported to vote for the best and worst public officers and holders of government contracts.
‘’Learnings from such citizen-led initiatives informed the development of Integrity and Service Delivery Awards 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 that recognized individuals and organizations fighting corruption in Uganda’’, noted Marlon Agaba, the Executive Director Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda.
Currently, Uganda loses at least Shs9.144 trillion to corruption conduits present in both the private and public institutions every year, the Inspectorate of Government report on the cost of corruption 2022. Uganda Continues to be rocked with grand corruption scandals most recently the Iron sheets saga, the NSSF saga, land compensation saga and abuse of public office by those entrusted to hold responsibilities on behalf of the public.
Xavier Ejoyi, the Country Director Action Aid International said the integrity awards come against this backdrop and seek to promote the fight against corruption by recognizing public officials who have demonstrated a high level of integrity in serving their community. The theme for this year is Promoting integrity for a corruption free and sustainable society.
The winners of the awards will be selected through a systematic and transparent process that has kicked off. It began with the nomination of candidates who have distinguished themselves as men and women of integrity in public office for not less than five years. We shall have three categories in these awards. They will include Frontline service providers (service obligation), Management Obligation and Political Obligation. The vetting committee will rate nominees on a scale of 1-5 based on the criteria below:
Specific Act of Integrity: The nominee has demonstrated a specific act of integrity. This may be the recovery of a lost item, report of anomalies, standing up against corruption, or valuing time commitment for public service.
Consistency and Sustainability: The nominee has been consistent in applying the value of integrity and is honest, truthful, and fair in her/his dealings.
Influence on Society: The nominee is a respectable member of society, contributing her/his efforts, time, talent and resources for the betterment of his community.
To safeguard the integrity awards from potential conflict of interest and undue influence, the following categories of people are excluded from participating in the process as awardees and will be disqualified if their names are submitted for consideration:
Staff, Board of Directors, and Associates of partner institutions organizing the national integrity awards.
Members of the awards vetting committee and their associates.
Individuals whose work promotes specific religious, political, or sectarian interests.
Individuals with questionable integrity.