State House Anti-Corruption Unit last week announced that President Yoweri Museveni will on 4th December 2019 lead the country in a walk to highlight the gains made so far in the fight against corruption and announce new plans to walk the vice out of Uganda.
The Anti-Corruption walk will be part of the activities Government has lined up to commemorate the fight against corruption under the theme “Promoting Accountability for National Development.”
However, a number of analysts have described the hyped corruption walk as a mockery to Ugandans who have been affected by the vice.
While appearing on NBS Television yesterday, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Vice Chairperson for Eastern Region, Salaam Musumba mocked the planned walk against corruption, saying corruption has sodomised Uganda.
“The environment has been polluted and sodomized in that it is corruption that rules. We have vandalised our own system, we’re not serious. I see Museveni and his cohorts who are going to walk as people who want to takeover Kampala, they want to take over walk to work, they want to celebrate one year of Nakalema, the aim is not corruption,” said Musumba.
Political Analyst, Godber Tumushabe said that President Museveni has all the authority to take action with just walk against corruption not being effective to stop the vice.
Nobert Mao, Democratic Party President also castigated the corruption walk by the President, stating that Museveni is on record saying corruption is cancer and the fact that the president is joining the walk against corruption shows that medicine has not worked.
“My assessment that this renewed effort shows that all the efforts made in the past were applying Vaseline to cancer,” Moa said.
He added: “The public knows the president is not leading from example. He is storming the ghetto and just throwing cash without documentation. I know there are decent people in this country who don’t have to join this parade.”
He described the corruption walk as a mockery to Ugandans who have suffered at hands of corrupt individuals.
“To what extent has corruption impacted the President’s or Speaker’s life? I want to see real people whose lives have been impacted by corruption. This is a rug day, a mockery to victims of corruption. The corrupt are now immune to Museveni’s threats. You cannot threaten someone that you are going to beat them and you don’t. Your threats become useless,” he said.
However, Chris Baryomunsi, State Minister for Housing defended Museveni’s slated corruption walk, arguing that the problem of corruption is not necessarily a problem of NRM, but rather cuts across society.
He also defended Museveni’s dishing out of money in ghettos. saying President Museveni giving out money isn’t corruption because the money is allocated by Parliament
“All of us must be involved in the fight against the monster corruption. The Anti-corruption Walk is to mobilise Ugandans that it takes all of us. Ministers are supposed to be protected, the situation is assessed by security before the lead cars are given. We shouldn’t narrow down corruption to a minister being given lead cars, it is bigger than that,” the Minister said.
Ofwono Opondo, Executive Director Uganda Media Centre said that NRM did not say it will eliminate corruption in two years or ten years, but will do so gradually.
“The NRM has fallen short; it is supposed to have ethics commission to deal with its members implicated in corruption. Some think it only happens in government institutions. It takes two for corruption to take place. The president is the Fountain of Honour, he can sensitize against vices including corruption,” he said.
In an interview at Parliament, Jack Wamanga (Mbale Municipality) wondered why Museveni didn’t take the walk long ago, adding that walking doesn’t mean it will stop corruption.
“He should wake up and act against all those corrupt officials in government, if he has whipped against those corrupt. This should have happened long time ago because we have been complaining for a long time,” Wamanga said.
Busongora North’s William Nzoghu from Kasese district had no kind words about the corruption walk, saying all that the anti-corruption agencies the President set up was go after people who have stolen little money.
“He is the only President I have seen and he is also the only President I have seen who is a joker because ideally any walk of that nature would actually be aiming at letting authorities know that there is a fundamental problem. The people who have been stealing whatever they have stolen, they did it under President Museveni and he is a beneficiary,” Nzoghu said.
He added: “So when he walks because corruption has been a menace in this country, who is he fooling? I don’t see any serious thing that will come out because when he goes to Kololo, whom will he be petitioning? I see there is a lot of foolery. The man is now weak that he is just guessing what to do and doesn’t know what to do.”
However Sarah Opendi, State Minister for Health-General Duties defended President’s walk saying corruption is a challenge and it is about time all Ugandans became aware of its dangers and rally support to people championing the fight against the vice.
“Let us talk about fighting corruption and mean it and also take action against corrupt officials, people are corrupt but they are being left. The reason the President has taken action now is because while we have all these agencies in place, the IGG office was established when NRM Government came to power and that showed NRM’s commitment in fighting corruption but over the years we have seen that corruption is increasing in the country,” said Opendi.