Dr. Kiiza Besigye, the former FDC president

The former President of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Rtd Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, has alleged that “President Yoweri Museveni is conducting armed robbery in Uganda” which he said is a form of corruption, though he did not expound on the allegation.

In an interview with NTV in the morning at his Kasangati home that was surrounded by police and other security agents, Besigye said Ugandans must rise up against the guns in order to fight corruption in public offices.

But When asked to comment on Besigye’s allegation that Museveni was conducting armed robbery in Uganda, Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama said: “Besigye seem not to understand Museveni and I think it is nonsense. Don Wanyama.”

“When the people whose resources are being stolen have no say then those who are doing it, will do it with impunity. The first institution in the fight against corruption should be the people,” Besigye said.

“It’s not surprising that today, those who challenge the thieves, the corrupt are the targets,” he added.

He said Ugandans have not been empowered to fight corruption and that the current government of NRM was using guns to deny them that power.

“In Uganda, no leader has ever left power peacefully, every leader has come to office by use of guns, force and has left office by use of force,” Besigye added.

Besigye said leaders and institutions in Uganda should be accountable to the people, which he said is not the case today, further claiming that some corrupt people in government fight Ugandans who are suffering from corruption.

“Once people are corrupt, those they steal from start suffering, when they come out to show their displeasure, those who are corrupt fight them,” Besigye said.

Museveni this morning led thousands of Ugandans in Kampala an Anti-Corruption Walk to show his commitment in the fight against corruption especially in public offices which has seen the country lose hundreds of billions of shillings over the decades he has been in power.

Uganda Police officers this morning surrounded Besigye’s home to block him from having a parallel Anti-Corruption Walk. But he beat security and found his way on the road. He was besieged at Mpererwe along Kampala Gayaza road. Besigye had scheduled to lead a parallel anti-corruption walk from his Katonga offices to the constitutional square.

Apart from Besigye, other people say Ugandans are not empowered to fight corruption.

“People are not empowered, they do not know that you can stand up, put your foot down and say no to taking bribes,” said Samantha Byarugaba, another official at Uganda Debt Network, a civil society organisation involved in the fight against the vice.

“Many times, people see corruption as taking bribes but corruption goes to the simplest of things, for example, If I have a company and I’m employing only my relatives, that is corruption” she said.

She said government should confront big government officers like ministers, MPs and others to show its commitment in the fight against corruption.

Get the corrupt and not the ‘small fishes’ because usually the blame is taken by the under dogs, then it disappears. Look for the ‘big dogs’, take punitive action, then Ugandans will be convinced – Samantha Byarugaba – Uganda Debt Network.

Ramadan Goobi, a lecturer at Makerere University Business School, has urged government to carry out property audit if it is to end the rampant corruption in the country. According to Goobi, owners of mansions and commercial buildings in Kampala and elsewhere in Uganda should be identified and tasked to explain where they got the money to set up the multi-billion shillings buildings.

A section of economic analysts also believe the community has promoted the vice by praising the corrupt who set a bad example, which makes making corruption acceptable.

But corruption in Uganda is not limited only to the public service. For example, yesterday the Allied Health Professional council discovered that a huge percentage of microscopes in several clinics in Kampala are faulty, meaning that many people are issued false results after testing their blood.

The Anti-Corruption featured members Museveni’s cabinet, civil service heads, political appointees like RDCs, diplomats, media, religious leaders, students, civil society organisations, private sector, traditional leaders, the army and police and of course Ugandans.

The Minister of State for Ethics & Integrity, Simon Lokodo has praised President Yoweri Museveni’s stand against corruption in a speech at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

Museveni, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, IGG, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, endorse Uganda Anti-Corruption Pledge at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala.