Museveni accuses Finance ministry officials of corruption

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Museveni accuses Finance ministry officials of corruption

President Museveni has accused officials from the Ministry of Finance of colluding with accounting officers from various ministries to embezzle public funds.

In his state-of-the-nation address on Thursday, Museveni revealed, "I have been hearing stories about a racket involving the Ministry of Finance and Parliament. Now, I have proof."

He elaborated, "These officials collaborate with accounting officers from different ministries to request funds from Parliament, which they then misappropriate." Museveni warned.

"The corrupt don't realize how strong we are. We are patient, but if you make a mistake, you will see the consequences."

Although Museveni did not disclose specific names, he stated that the culprits are "now in trouble."

Additionally, Museveni revealed that some of his own staff have been accepting bribes to arrange meetings with investors. "I've heard that even people in my office take bribes to facilitate meetings with me. Can you imagine? Fortunately, we recently arrested one staff member who allegedly extorted shares from an investor. He is now in court," he said.

Corruption remains a significant barrier to Uganda's development. Despite considerable investments and efforts to combat corruption, the results of anti-corruption initiatives have been modest, and corruption continues to impose extensive costs on society.

"I have been receiving substantial information about corrupt individuals among public servants and political actors. With firm evidence, I will crush these traitors," the President said.

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) commissioned the research on the cost of corruption with support from the German Government, through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The research was conducted by the government Transparency Institute, which is an international and non-partisan think tank in good governance, the outcomes indicate that;

Full eradication of corruption in Uganda will lead to potential savings of Shs9.144 trillion per year, which can translate to 23% of annual government budget.

The savings from eliminating corruption in Uganda hold a potential to significantly improve the provision of public services to the citizens.

The same study indicated that Shs858 billion is lost to Illegitimate contract awards, bribes to judicial officers (Shs762 billion), corruption in procurement processes (Shs614 billion), healthcare corruption (Shs191 billion), bribery in water and electricity utilities, as well as the corruption costs of unpaid utility fees (Shs478 billion,), and cost of bribing security personnel (Shs91 billion) among others.

Uganda’s leaders are not the only people who engage in corruption. Common citizens also sometimes collaborate with government officials in corrupt actions.

While it is not uncommon for corruption to exist in developing nations, Uganda was ranked 142 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2020,

Additionally, the World Bank ranked Uganda in the 15th percentile for controlling corruption compared to other nations.

Thus, while it is difficult to directly measure corruption, the available methodologies make it clear that corruption is a problem in Uganda.

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