Anti-corruption activists in Uganda are sending a clear message to President Museveni: it’s time to sweep out the corrupt officials. Under the banner of ‘A Better Uganda for All,’ these activists are demanding that government workers and politicians implicated in corruption scandals be shown the door to allow for proper investigations and justice to be served.
Job Richard Matua, the leader of this group, passionately argues that unchecked corruption is not only undermining the country’s service delivery but also causing taxpayers to lose over Shs10 trillion annually. That’s a staggering sum!
Matua and his anti-graft comrades believe that the best course of action for Uganda, as well as the ruling NRM party, is to give corrupt ministers the boot, stripping them of their privileges. He’s not mincing words, calling for the removal of those who have been caught with their hands in the corruption cookie jar, including the perennial thieves within the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
These demands come in the wake of three serving ministers and high-ranking government officials facing corruption charges in early 2023. They stand accused of swindling iron rooofing sheets meant for vulnerable Karimojong people. Among the accused are Karamoja affairs minister Dr. Mary Gorrette Kitutu, her junior Agnes Nandutu, and finance state minister Amos Lugoloobi, all awaiting trial before the Kololo based anti-corruption court.
Matua and his fellow activists haven’t stopped at mere demands; they’ve petitioned President Museveni, urging him to sack all ministers allegedly involved in the iron sheet scandal and the misappropriation of funds for goats and relief items.
But they aren’t done yet. On the issue of state expenditure, Matua wants immediate revisions, especially regarding the hundreds of government officials. He points out that now that the World Bank has cut off loans to Uganda, it’s high time the government tightened its belt and stopped hemorrhaging money.
Furthermore, the activists want the State to expedite the construction of government offices at Bwebajja on Entebbe Road. Their reasoning is simple: this would prevent renting expenses for ministries and agencies, ultimately saving much-needed funds for essential services.
When reached for comment, the presidency played it cool, claiming they were unaware of the petition. They maintain that Ugandan law has clear provisions for dealing with corruption. They also highlight President Museveni’s efforts in the fight against corruption, emphasizing the establishment of anti-corruption units and investigative bodies.
As for court cases involving the corrupt, the deputy presidential press secretary, Faruk Kirunda, clarifies that the president has never defied a court ruling related to corruption cases. In other words, those convicted face the full force of the law. If the penalties aren’t harsh enough, amendments can always be proposed. Simple, right?