The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija has come out to warn government accounting officers against dipping their dirty fingers in the national coffers.
According to Kasaija, those found wanting will face the music; they will lose their jobs.
Of course Kasaija’s bluster is welcome, because this country’s funds have over time been siphoned with reckless abandon, as if government is in slumber.
The most recent and prominent fiascos involving theft of funds are the Pension Scheme Scam from which about 165 billion is missing. Another scam involved the Prime Minister’s Office, where Shs50 billion for the reconstruction of Northern Uganda was stolen. Then there was the Mukono-Katosi-Kyetume road saga, in which Shs24billion was paid out to dubious people and to date the road is not done.
In these three cases the culprits have faced the law, but the process to have them account is so unconvincing that even a child can see through the gimmick. And this is where corruption in Uganda becomes sickening; those charged with overseeing the use of our national resources are the very ones who steal from government. The Minister said as much. And such is called Public Sector Corruption; it affects the workings of government in areas like service delivery because the money is diverted to personal use.
Interestingly, we have a huge layer of anti-corruption institutions like the IGG, the Police and the judiciary, among others. Similarly, there are laws that allow for punitive action against those found culpable.
However, it seems there is a general laxity towards fighting corruption, and this has portrayed the country in negative light.
So, since the minister has now told us he will crack the whip on the corrupt, he needs the support of all Ugandans.