During the National Dialogue on the State of Public Service Delivery 2022 held in Kampala, members of the Civil Society Organizations(CSO), duty bearers and other stakeholders cemented on the vice of corruption in Uganda.
Former Gulu Municipality Member of Parliament Leandro Komakech who was present clearly stated that the word corruption is a new invention and an economic activity of today that has caught up with every household compared to earlier days, where the word corruption was almost a myth amongst the citizens.
“Looking at Uganda from the past up to now, we have a very challenging journey of state building where Uganda before 1962 to the 70’s and 80’s had a lot of trust in citizenship and institutions of government where all cultural institutions and churches worked and that boosted the growth of morality among the citizens that they would deliver based on their terms of references,” he said.
He also claimed that the rate of corruption per capita in Uganda has almost doubled the Gross Domestic Product Per Capita in recent times, thereby calling upon all religious leaders to play their roles as assigned by Jesus and God .
“If I was someone who was not a Christian, this corruption problem is so big that we may not only need Jesus but we just need God himself physically to save us because in the Christian faith we say that Jesus is our savior but we are on the extreme that God should to be around and join us in this struggle, ” he added.
While Francis Xavier Ejoyi, ActionAid Country Director, highlighted on the importance of the dialogue was organized to give a platform for citizens, Government, CSOs and other duty bearers coming together to reflect on the issue of service delivery as well accountability especially where the increase rate of corruption is shooting higher in Uganda.
“There is a need to renew our commitment as stakeholders, duty bearers and the Government to reflect on the state of public service we have today. Let us ask ourselves what more we can do to improve on service delivery,” Ejoyi said.
Ejoyi who also said that ActionAid Uganda is typically concerned with the deepening levels of poverty, corruption adding that those two underlying issues have serious and terrible implications on local citizens accessing public services.
“Poor service delivery has serious implications on the life of people living in extreme poverty especially the women. We are increasingly concerned about the deepening inequalities that exclude women, young people from quality public services.” Xavier Ejoyi added.
Albert Taremwa, a panelist and a team leader of the Local Sustainable Communities Organization, said that in accordance with the constitution of Uganda, all citizens are entitled to access high quality and cost effective public services. “Women in public hospitals are dying while giving birth due to lack of equipment in hospitals. Around May of this year, a woman in Rukiga district died because there was no equipment to stop her bleeding,” he said.
“We need to give services equally to everyone without discriminating. We still have hospitals that provide services basing on your religion or you pay 20k to be worked on”
“The health service delivery in public hospitals especially in rural areas is very poor. Yesterday a new born baby died because midwives were playing cards. Who is to hold these people accountable?, ” Taremwa asked
The cost of fighting corruption in service delivery is high and end users continue suffering the consequences.
Corruption in Uganda is characterised by grand-scale theft of public funds and petty corruption involving public officials at all levels of society as well as widespread political patronage systems.