By John Kabagambe
This month has witnessed a bevy of activity in which the Brig Gen Isoke-led State House anti-corruption unit pounced on corrupt district officials in Eastern Uganda and quite a number of them were arrested, arraigned in court and remanded pending prosecution upon well investigated cases ranging from; conspiracy to defraud the government of Ugx 1.3bn by Tororo district officials, neglect of duty, causing financial loss to the tune of Ugx 850m, arising from mismanagement of Busia market, involving 12 Busia officials including the Town clerk, Procurement officer, Municipal Engineer and others.
Meanwhile, in Teso sub region (Katakwi district) district bosses (including the District Education officer) were arrested for misappropriation of Ugx 72m meant for procurement of seater desks for primary schools, while in Butaleja, district officials were booked for fraudulently awarding the town council structural and planning contract to World Host Consultants ltd without the necessary approvals.
In other news, a one Olweny was arrested for theft of a Massey Ferguson tractor and disc plough (property of the government of Uganda) valued at 400m.
The indefatigable SH-ACU was not done, it swung the axe at the Departed Asian’s custodian board officials for corruption whereof arrests were carried out.
The take home from all this is that, clearly not only is corruption endemic and widespread, the findings from Ntoroko, Maracha and other areas so far combed by SH-ACU point to the prevalence of abuse of office, bribery, embezzlement of public funds, neglect of duty, flouting procurement procedures etc, which all translates into loss of tax payer’s money that would go along way to building public infrastructure, improving service delivery and the living standards of Ugandans.
Accordingly, we call upon the government to avail an ample budget and sufficient capacity to SH-ACU to traverse all the districts not only to stem the haemorrhage of Ugandan tax payer’s money, but also to ensure that all those pinpointed and convicted for corruption, vacate public offices for the foreseeable future as a warning and emphasis of a zero tolerance policy to corruption, and a deterrence against reoccurrence in the inspected areas.
The author is a Lawyer, a Writer & a Civil Society Activist
#Expose the corrupt
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