Text the Thief: Activists now out to annoy, shame the 'corrupt' via phones

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Text the Thief: Activists now out to annoy, shame the 'corrupt' via phones
The usual suspects Atuhaire, Spire and Toko

A group of civil rights lawyers and activists with a growing reputation for angering public officials have initiated a new campaign called "Text the Theft" aimed at exposing individuals who glorify corruption.

This initiative, led by Agora Discourse, a digital platform advocating for human rights, public accountability, and social justice, is spearheaded by renowned activists Agather Atuhaire and Godwin Toko, among others.

The campaign was launched following recent controversial statements by Rakai MP Juliet Kyinyamatama in defense of Lwengo MP Cissy Namujju, amidst accusations of financial impropriety.

MP Kyinyamatama said during a visit to Lwengo district that if any funds were taken by Namujju, they were shared for the benefit of the local community.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among pledged unwavering support for legislators facing legal scrutiny over corruption allegations.

Amidst ongoing arrests and summonses of MPs like Paul Akamba, Cissy Namujju, Michael Mawanda, and Ignatius Mudimi, Speaker Annet reaffirmed her commitment to safeguarding the rights of lawmakers.

In response to these developments, civil rights activist Godwin Toko criticised MPs for what he perceives as their defense and glorification of corruption.

Toko, well-known for his anti-corruption stance and advocacy for human rights, expressed profound concern over what he views as detrimental to Uganda's fight against corruption.

"The statements made by Members of Parliament defending corruption undermine our efforts to combat this vice," Toko stated in an interview with Nile Post. "Such actions not only condone illegal practices but also erode public trust in our institutions."

The "Text the Theft" campaign aims to mobilise citizens to expose instances of corruption and hold accountable those who perpetuate it.

Through public engagement and digital activism, Agora Discourse and its allies hope to empower Ugandans in the fight against corruption, emphasizing that defending corrupt practices only perpetuates the crime itself.

Toko emphasised the destructive consequences of corruption in Uganda, stating that it hampers progress and undermines crucial institutions like the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

"Corruption is a crime in this country. Defending and glorifying it undermines the urgency and the fight against corruption, setting our country back significantly," he warned.

The activist referred to allegations of MPs misusing public funds, highlighting that such actions divert resources that could be better utilised for the public's welfare.

"The money they shared could have served a greater purpose instead of being divided among themselves," he said.

Toko also denounced a reported statement by Speaker Among, allegedly condoning corrupt practices

"I, personally, was angered by the statements made by those MPs glorifying corruption, but it is not solely my responsibility to address this issue. Citizens must call out these MPs and hold them accountable," Toko said.

"The person who defends the thief becomes a thief themselves,” he added.

The controversy surrounding the MPs' statements highlights the ongoing challenges in Uganda's fight against corruption. Advocates like Toko argue that such rhetoric not only condones illegal practices but also erodes public trust in government institutions.

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