In the wake of the arrest of Minister Herbert Kabafunzaki for allegedly taking a bribe, a senior cabinet colleague has come out to condemn the vice.
Last Saturday Labour State Minister Kabafunzaki was arrested by police and officers from the Special Forces Command (SFC) for allegedly taking a Shs5m bribe from the Aya Group Managing Director Muhammad Aya, to reportedly forestall sexual harassment allegations made against him.
And speaking at the opening ceremony of the Uganda Debt Network debate at Hotel Africana, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said culpability for bribery is a shared vice.
“We are public servants, we ministers are shepherds, why do you bribe us, if you are duly qualified use the right way, the right way is not through bribery,” minister Kasaija said, adding: “the blame is shared by both the one giving and the other taking the bribe.
The Minister also wondered how youthful and junior public servants were quickly amassing wealth.
“I have never earned a billion shillings in the government yet this is my third time being a minister; where do those youth get all the money to construct houses worth billions,” Kasaija wondered.
Turning to government borrowing, the minister said the public debt currently stands at about 38 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He called for better understanding and appreciation of government policies by public sector employees, saying most government undertakings including remuneration are actualized.
“The issue of concern should be how much are we borrowing, and what the borrowed money does,” he said, adding: “I usually advise my fellow public servants that let us be patient, if we work hard and expand the growth and development rates the issue of salary increment will also be considered.”
The Minister also said that two trillion shillings, about 14 per cent of the GDP, will be used to service the domestic debt in the next financial year.