Requires many solutions
President Museveni led the walk against corruption
From the outset, Last Week’s highly publicised walk against corruption is a laudable first step in the war against the vice that has eaten Ugandan society down to the core.
It is laudable because it helps to raise society’s awareness that corruption is a killer and must be stopped. But this alone is not enough.
After making an admission that we’re all corrupt either directly or by association, we need to examine why. It is then that we shall be able to start to confront corruption and fight it.
Some people have described President Yoweri Museveni’s comment during the walk against corruption as a mockery when he said that some of the people who had joined him in the walk were corrupt but that he would not name them.
The reason for the President’s reluctance to name or even whip his closest people is that he gets their political support when he would otherwise not get it. It’s a give and take game. You let me keep my job illegitimately, I shield you from prosecution.
Evidence of this is the repeat in the way the government has gotten it’s way when it wouldn’t. This includes the way it has bribed MPs to pass laws that have kept the government in power since 2006 when the three-term clause was removed from the constitution.
This political patronage has permeated almost every aspect of Uganda’s life to the extent that service delivery is tied to loyalty to the person of the president, lest your constituents languish.
This has in the process undermined the functioning of institutions, justifying the phrase that the fish starts rotting from the head. It goes without saying that practicing true democracy which also requires a high degree of transparency will help Uganda overcome corruption.
Closely tied to the above is the continued domination of resources of the country for now close to four decades by a select group of people which is fermenting resentment, and undermining the sense of nationalism and patriotism. People are resorting to stealing call it corruption, because those above them are wantonly enriching themselves.
Give systems a chance
The collapse of service delivery across many government levels has raised the cost of living. Educating a child would be cheaper in a functioning public school environment, but because public schools are dead, people are forced to steal to be able to take their children to private schools. Again because systems don’t work, parents quickly fail to keep track of the charges complicating the sense of despair that breeds more corruption. Restoring the proper functioning of government departments to ensure they serve the people will thus control costs, restore public confidence and control corruption .
There is no denying the fact that corruption is now a social vice. In schools, the private sector even in churches and mosques, we ignore merit and use money to buy our way to positions.
Perhaps in an attempt to match the lifestyles of the corrupt, we have become so greedy and made corruption the norm. We’ve grown up aspiring to drive and build bungalows. As a society , we must take a few steps backwards, reflect on the values of life – and accumulation is hardly any of them.
For shortage of space, these are some of the few things we as society and our leaders can start to think about. And we believe they can spark a serious debate that will transform our country into a better one.