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Opinion: Fighting Corruption Requires A Robust Citizenry Lead Approach

By Ronad Angarukamu

In the recent past, the cry over the misuse of public resources by the persons entrusted to guard and serve them has continued to attract public attention. The citizens have continued to query how the public resources are spent. Basically, public resources are meant to serve one principle purpose -delivery of services to the populace!

Whereas most of us prefer to look at the misuse of public resources on one angle of the Ugandan tax payers’ money, we need to extend this point of view and look at how much resources contributed by our development partners are put to wished-for use. As citizens, we need to look at how much of grants extended to the government and money through Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) etc. This is how we shall build a citizen lead come up to demand for accountability, reduce corruption and improve services deliverance.

The money government and Civil Society, NGOs etc receive from development partners are taxes paid by citizens of those countries/ development partners.

The government of Uganda has had in place institutions, such as, the inspectorate of government (IGG), Uganda Police Force (CID), judiciary, Parliament and committees, several commissions of inquiry etc with powers to fight corruption.

In an equal measure, Civil Society Organizations, NGOs are obligatory to account to government how the funds received are used.

Despite all these efforts, the missing Link in the fight against this vise has continued missing. It is apparently clear that the thieving chain in government, civil society, NGOs etc is well connected and oiled by both civil servants and these other organizations.

By the launching of the state house anti corruption monitoring unit with mobile Toll free lines (0800202500, +256 778202500), government is clearly embarking on the community lead approach to fight corruption. With the experienced competence of the team at state house headed by a hands on officer, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, all that is desirable is a more citizens engagements and support and put to shame these thieves. Citizens are supposed to call in, report that bossing officers and bureaucrats doing injustices to our country, our lives.

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Government also has a fully running unit at Ministry of ICT and National guidance, the Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC), where citizens interact with government on many issues and get immediate feedback. This is done through mobile technology using social media, emailing, SMS etc and also citizens calling on a Toll Free line (900) on all local networks where they receive instant feedback.

All these are initiatives of government to empower citizens through full-bodied information generation and dissemination programs meant to ensure good governance, improve accountability for an effective services delivery.

As the President stated, these new approaches are not meant to take over the roles of the already existing institutions and their structures. No. This is meant to compliment these institutions.

Services delivery and fighting corruption is a protracted program that needs to be handled at different angles and levels.

Statistics continue to prove that citizenry lead initiatives have been more effective and efficient.

The writer is a policy analyst. angarukamur@gmail.com, +256 789621380

 

 

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