STATEMENT: Uganda’s President Vows to ‘Crush’ the Corrupt

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni
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Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni

Fellow Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu.

Greetings. Although busy celebrating Maama’s 76th birthday, I am also fully in the war against obwiibi (theft) of government money, obutagambirwa (not listening to guidance) and okweragyiira, okwetuminkiriza (doing things that are not agreed upon).

Since some of the cases are in court, the law does not allow us to comment on them. The evidence will come in court. However, I can assure the Ugandans, that these vices will be stamped out. The NRM does not victimize anybody without proof. That is why some People think that the NRM is soft on corruption. We insist on proof, and apparently proofs are abundant but the responsible People have not been looking for them.

Who are the responsible officers for money? It is the Permanent Secretary in a Ministry, A Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in a district, a town clerk in a city or Municipality, a Gombolola Chief in a sub-county and a managing Director in a Parastatal. In the constitution, it is these that are responsible for government money, for personnel affairs, for procurement, etc.

In the NRM time, we went back to the old system of the Civil service based on merit through competitive examinations by the Public Service Commission.

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That is why we never bothered with corruption for a long time, knowing that there are capable People handling money, personnel and procurement. We now know that many of them have let us down. We shall, therefore, have to work with victims of this corruption and some patriots to crush this betrayal. Are the patriots there? Yes. Where is the proof?

The 20,000 fighters that attacked Kampala on the 22nd to the 26th of January 1986, were mainly patriots. Otherwise, why would they do what they did without pay?

This corruption by public officials (Policemen, medical Assistants, veterinary assistants, chiefs, and teachers) was prevalent in the colonial times and soon after independence. That is why I proposed the creation of the Resistance Councils (LCs), believing that People elected by Wanainchi would guard their interests better than public employees. What has happened? We should examine this more and discuss it.

Nevertheless, it is possible to crush corruption through the alliance of patriots (I count myself as one of them) and the victims, the masses. The masses can be encountered in the village barazas, etc. The patriots are to be found in the political leadership, some public servants, the churches, etc.

Corruption is diverting a lot of money that could develop the country. IGG estimates Ug.Sh.10 trillion per year!!

There are also some indications that there is massive tax evasion. Uganda’s GDP of US $55bn, should be giving us 20% in taxes. This would be US$11bn or Ug.Sh.48 trillion. Our real budget without debt payments is Ug.Sh.56 trillion.

Therefore, the thieves are parasites that must be stamped out, and the indisciplined are saboteurs of our fast development and must also be stopped.

This year, our economy grew by 6%. It will grow in double digits if we stamp out thieves and the indisciplined.

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