Sunday, December 6, 2009



4th December,2009

ACCOUNTABILITY stories are dominating the newspaper headlines. The district Police commander of Oyam was arrested this week over receiving a sh1m bribe to release a suspect. The Hoima mayor got netted for allegedly selling town council land without approval from the town council.

NAADS officials and sub-county chiefs in Iganga district are made to pay back co-funds and money for goods that were either under-supplied or over-priced amounting to sh350m.

And a Mbarara magistrate was convicted to two years in jail last month for receiving a sh200,000 bribe from a businessman.

President Yoweri Museveni seems to be making good on his promise to fight theft in public offices.

“Now I have time and I have come into the middle of these high-class thieves. Soon you will hear about the casualties. I have already set up systems here and there, traps to catch them,” he told a cabinet retreat in October. He cited roads, health, agriculture and education as sectors pervaded by massive corruption.

“A road which would be constructed at sh100m is put at sh400m. Deliberate theft! Those involved will pay! People who have been stealing drugs are already in the net. You will hear about them!”

On NAADS, Museveni said half of the sh135b spent this year is being stolen on the way. “But we will make those thieves vomit what they have stolen,” he vowed.

The cleaning exercise has started in the health sector, NAADS, the Police and the judiciary. It needs to be extended to all districts of Uganda. It also needs to be extended to other sectors, especially education and roads.

But for the second revolution to have a bigger impact and gain more credibility, the net must be cast wider to catch the big fish as well.