The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Beti Olive Kamya has said as a new strategy to fight corruption, her office is working on a new approach aimed at inciting the public against corrupt government officials.
Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre to mark the 20th African Anti-corruption Day celebrated today, July 11, Kamya said the public must understand that there is a relation between their miserable lives and the actions of government officials who squander money meant for the improvement of their welfare.
“This approach will also focus on prevention through advocacy, education, and community mobilisation. This approach is intended to incite the population against public officers whose actions of corruption are manifested through lifestyles not commensurate with their known income. Through sensitisation, citizens should be able to relate their personal experiences due to inadequate service delivery directly linked to corruption,” Kamya said.
She is optimistic that through this approach, the public will understand that drug shortages in hospitals, poor infrastructure, and poverty among others happen because some people somewhere embezzled public resources which would have improved their livelihood.
To popularise this approach, she added, her office will continue using the media through talk shows, and barazas to educate citizens on their role in the fight against corruption. She said the action of publicizing government corruption and inaction has already proven effective in forcing change.
“We would like to appreciate and take this occasion to appreciate the ordinary Ugandan who has become proactive in exposing and fighting corruption. We recognize the unknown and unsung heroes who used social media to expose corruption at Entebbe International Airport and got the government to take action. Now things are better. Unknown and unsung heroes who used social media to expose potholes in Kampala which provoked the government to find funds outside the budget and repaired the roads,” Kamya said.
According to estimates by the IGG, Uganda loses up to Shs 10 trillion in covert and overt corruption every year. However, the IGG reports indicate that only Shs 2.3 billion was recovered last year even when Shs 33.2 billion had been ordered to be recovered by various corrupt government officials.
This year’s commemoration is marked under the theme “‘African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, 20 years after; Achievements and Prospects,” Call to action; How can we accelerate the fight against corruption in the next decade?”
In Uganda, the day is marked under the theme, “Strategies and Mechanisms to Reduce the Cost of Corruption in Uganda.”