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CSOs urged to engage State actors in fight against corruption

Ms. Cissy Kagaba Executive Director, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (PHOTO /Shaatra Muzaki)

As the country prepares to join the rest of the world to honour the world Anti-corruption day at Kololo Independence Grounds on December 9. Action Aid Uganda together with its partners have held a three day Convention meetings from Monday to Wednesday. Where the very first breakfast meeting was held at Fairway hotel and the other two held at Royal Suites Bugolobi in Kampala.

Under the theme “Promoting Active Citizen Participation in Social Accountability” where several guests were invited to speak to the participants whom some of the key guests were the Inspector General of Government Hon. Betty Kamya Turomwe, Deputy Chairperson of the Leadership Code Tribunal Hon. Asuman Kiyingi, The Public Procurement Disposal of Assets Executive Director, Mr Benson Turamye and Country Director, ActionAid International Uganda Mr. Xavier Ejoyi.

Others were Ms. Cissy Kagaba Executive Director, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, Mr. Gerald Gwaira Manager-Advocacy and Capacity Building from the Inspectorate of Government among others.

Mr. Turamye who spoke during an Anti-Corruption Convention breakfast meeting on Monday 6 held at Fairway hotel called upon the citizens to raise up against the incompetent performance of state corporations in Uganda by reporting to the State Actors. “The money used for Government projects is tax payer’s money, so citizens need to benefit from their money by demanding for accountability,” he said

On the same day Gwaira encouraged the Civil Society Organisations to continue working closely work with the State Actors since they are able to engage Citizens on a regular basis. There is need to send out the same message both state and non-state actors to the citizens to participate in fighting to eliminate corruption in Uganda. “Like the IGG has been saying a citizen is the owner of the war to eliminate corruption, the citizen on the ground suffers most effects of corruption they are the ones who go to hospitals that do not have drugs and may end up dying”, adding that “they are the ones who regularly use bad roads”.

The state agencies are only coordinating the war therefore Civil Society Organisations have the role to mobilize and coordinate citizens to ensure that they actively participate in the war. The anti-corruption agencies have put in place mechanisms that the citizens can easily use to get information to the state agencies for quick action. For example the Auditor general has put in place a feedback platform.

While Ejoyi called upon the citizens who are supposed to remind themselves to take the lead against corruption because it is not enough to leave the fight to state institutions or to civil society. “This convention is about bringing all citizens from all walks of life to ensure that they are getting new knowledge about different instances of corruption, about afro chase in the fight against corruption” he said, adding that we also want citizens to know that it is not about the government it is citizens who put government in place and give it the responsibility, the power to fight corruption and make decisions is actually of the citizens.

At Royal Suites Bugolobi on Tuesday, Cissy Kagaba insisted that citizens have all the rights to know the wealth of their leaders being that it is them who will give the concerned information to the IG office and should also have the freedom to provide this information without any fears. This is when she reminded people of the whistle blower law “Let’s remember there is law that the government put in place like the whistle blower law which encourages the citizens give information about corruption but you will find that this law has not been effective” She was quoted. The whistleblowers protection act, 2010 is An Act to provide for the procedures by which individuals in both the private and public sector may in the public interest disclose information that relates to irregular, illegal or corrupt practices; to provide for the protection against victimisation of persons who make disclosures; and to provide for related matters.

The Guest of Honor Hon. Betty Kamya in her remarks said that Uganda has been ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. “It is high time citizens take it up themselves and own up the fight against corruption. Corruption affects service delivery to the citizens. “This is why citizens must be at the forefront” she said. People have not personalized the fight against corruption. As a result of this they have ended up as cheerleaders and point fingers to the people and this has not helped the situation” She added.

ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.
ActionAid has worked in Uganda since 1982 and currently has a presence with offices and staff in 15 districts.

 

 

 

 

 

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