Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Party Headquarters, Uganda House,
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
Fighting corruption in Uganda
23 May 2007
Fighting Corruption Must Go Beyond Symbolic Arrest
(Embargoed for release at 11.00 am, 23rd May, 2007)
- Uganda Peoples Congress applauds the long awaited arrest of Hon. Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha, the former State Ministers for Health, charged with corruption and embezzlement of Global Alliance funds for Vaccines and Immunization. However the anti- corruption activists and the general public should not celebrate yet as the two chief suspects, Hon. Jim Muhwezi and Miss Alice Kaboyo remains on the run.
- UPC notes that the arresting of these suspects are not enough. Their successful prosecution and recovery of the squandered public funds will be the ultimate test whether the Government, and in particular President Museveni, is finally interested and fully committed in pursuing a sustained anti- corruption policy and providing clean leadership.
- UPC applauds the government cautiously due to the fact that the past highly publicized and sensationalized arrest and prosecution of public officials suspected of corruption and embezzlement yielded nothing. The over whelming majority of those cases have either been withdrawn, abandoned by the state prosecutors or no serious evidence adduced, there by leading to acquittal of suspects.
- There are numerous examples we can cite ;
- The failed prosecution of Mr. Enos Tumusiime, who presided over the collapse of Uganda Railways Co-operation.
- The botched up prosecution of Emma Kato over the junk helicopter saga, where General Salim Saleh, who was supposed to be the co- accused acted as a compromise state witness leading to the dismissal of the charges.
- The ghost soldiers' cases where Gen. Kazini, Maj. Gen. Masaba, Brig. Gutti, Brig. Tumukunde, Brig. Lakara Nakibus were charged but prosecution failed to adduced enough evidence and prove its case as such none of them were convicted of any embezzlement or causing financial loss. With respect to Brig. Tumukunde, all the charges dealing with financial impropriety were withdrawn and instead he was prosecuted for spreading harmful propaganda in a wrong forum, contrary to UPDF Act.
- UPC urges the Government not to use these arrests and prosecutions of Hon. Mike Mukula, Dr. Alex Kamugisha and the pending arrest of Hon. Jim Muhwezi and Miss Alice Kaboyo to tame donor pressure in order to redeem its international image and turn public opinion in its favor. UPC demands the following:
- That investigations, arrests and prosecutions should not be selective but cross- cutting. All those involved must be arrested and vigorously prosecuted. With respect to Global Alliance Fund for Vaccines and Immunization, all those involved must be investigated and prosecuted.
- The leadership code must be implemented fully by ;
- Publishing a list of declaration of assets and liabilities by public officers, and displaying it to the public.
- The public should be encouraged to assist the IGG in verifying those declarations.
- Hon. John Ken Lukyamuzi shouldn't remain a loner victim of the leadership code; there are many NRM cadres and other public officials who highly qualify to be removed from public offices.
- The management of criminal investigations and prosecution should not be politicized. Government should strengthen and empower the offices of IGG, DPP and CID by removing compromised officers, training and facilitating professional staff, who can make those institutions truly independent, impartial and conforming to international standards and procedures, in carrying out their duties.
- Finally, UPC calls upon the people of Uganda to gather and secure evidence against all corrupt public officials, who are in senior positions in government and forward them to the responsible institutions and Anti Corruption agencies for proper investigation and possible prosecution. We need collective action against corruption.
For God and my Country
Miria Kalule Obote