Presidential candidate Rtd Major General Mugisha Muntu has said Uganda needs leaders with values to fight corruption.
“If you have a system that sieves the public service human resource, especially Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners, it is easy to fight corruption,” said Muntu while campaigning in Entebbe this Monday morning.
“Once you have an incorruptible leader, he’ll select a clean cabinet. You can’t have a corrupt person who doesn’t bring people who are not corrupt. We want to fight this practice in our country,” he added.
“Some people say ‘can you fight corruption in Uganda?’ Yes, five years, you can have a situation radically changed, with potential thieves fearing to steal. We’ve a situation where those who don’t steal fear and those who steal go scot-free.”
Uganda’s widespread corruption is highlighted in the country’s poor ranking (139th out of 167 countries) in the Corruption Perceptions Index as well as in the recent Africa edition of the Global Corruption Barometer.
Corruption undermines a country’s efforts to eradicate poverty, address hunger, secure good health care and high quality education for their citizens, guarantee gender equality and other human rights and reduce inequality.
On its part, government says it has put in place measures to fight corruption including the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), the Anti-Corruption Act, and the establishment of a specialized anti-corruption court within the judiciary.
Meanwhile, Muntu said Uganda continues to teeter on the verge of instability due to failure to resolve the political transition dilemma.
“We really want Gen Museveni to settle. He should rest peacefully. The nation will rest, the army rests, police rests, intelligence services rest. Because we are in trouble. If I say we need to rest, I mean it.”
Muntu, who served as army commander, said Ugandans need to be supported financially to benefit from agriculture and tourism sectors.
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“People should see the light and elect us to lead. Uganda is a blessed country with knowledgeable and disciplined people. We will serve as the fulcrum that will lift this country. It’s possible and it’s what all Ugandans want,” said Muntu.
“We will focus on skills development in the tourism sector. Kenya is far ahead of us. Crane Hotel which was supposed to train Ugandans on hospitality is in a sorry state. You can’t give what you don’t have,” he added.
Muntu further promised to increased budgets for marketing Uganda’s tourism potential just like Kenya to attract more tourists.
In 2019, Parliament’s budget committee asked government to allocate more funding to the Tourism sector which is the most underfunded sector with a total budget of only sh32b.
Whereas Kenya allocates over $30m (sh114b) towards marketing her tourism internationally and Rwanda spends over $40m (sh152b), Uganda only spends only sh10b ($2.6m) to market her tourism.
In the 2020/21 financial year, Government allocated Shs 198bn to Uganda’s tourism sector – 3.41% of what it generated the previous year (Shs 5.8 tn).