The Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) is a national umbrella membership organization that brings together 17 likeminded Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and activists in the fight against corruption in Uganda. It has a network of nine (9) Regional Anti-Corruption Coalitions (RACCs) in Uganda.
ACCU was formed on August 1999 as a brainchild of 10 organisations and individuals who had tried to fight corruption in their individual capacity but their efforts were inconsequential. These include Uganda Debt Network, MS Uganda, Oxfam GB, Transparency International – Uganda, FIDA – Uganda, Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET), DENIVA, UCAA, FABIO and UNATU.
The coalition then existed as a loose arrangement until 2003 when the Annual General Meeting sitting at Human Rights Network (HURINET-Uganda) took the decision to have it formally registered as an independent body. In 2004, ACCU was registered with both the NGO Board and the Registrar of Companies to become a body corporate with powers to sue and be sued; and with perpetual succession and a common seal.
Since inauguration, ACCU has been surviving on donor support and membership subscriptions. ACCU started with support from MS Uganda as the main donor and as years went by, ACCU started receiving funds from Action Aid Uganda and DANIDA. To date, ACCU has a consortium of donors ranging from DGF, Action aid Uganda, UNDP, Care Uganda, DanChurch Aid, Partnerships for Transparency fund, Twaweza amongst others.
Vision: “A transparent and corruption free society”
Mission: “To empower citizens to actively and sustainably demand for transparency and accountability from public and private sector”
Overall Objectives of ACCU:
To ensure that misuse of entrusted powers by political leaders, public servants, private sector, religious authorities and civil society is eradicated.
Strategic Objectives of ACCU:
- To provide a platform through which civil society organisations pressure government to be responsible and committed to improving transparency and accountability in service delivery; and fighting corruption in the public sector.
- To equip civil society with skills, knowledge, conviction, confidence and methods of effectively fighting corruption.
- To increase information sharing and accessibility among the coalition members, strategic allies, the general public on exposure of corruption.
Core Functions of ACCU:
- Coordination of member activities for effective anti corruption activities.
- Research and advocacy on corruption related issues.
- Building the capacity of civil society to demand for responsive and accountable leadership.
- Facilitating information sharing and communication.
ACCU’s strategic direction is based on its core values that form the basis for all its operations and these shall be upheld in all that it does. Those values are:
- Integrity: ACCU carries out its activities in an honest and truthful manner, and takes all reasonable measures to prevent willful wrongdoing by its management and staff.
- Transparency:ACCU is open at all times in dealing with all partners in the fight against corruption; it documents its operations and freely disseminates them to the public as and when required.
- Accountability:ACCU takes full responsibility for its actions and is always answerable to the civil society and to its partners.
- Non-discrimination: ACCU endeavors to espouse fairness in all its interventions through the involvement of diversity of people and doing so in a gender-sensitive manner.
- Justice: ACCU is committed to promoting fairness in all its dealings.
- Solidarity: ACCU upholds that the struggle against corruption needs close collaboration with others and it will support others to raise issues of similar interest.
- Objectivity: ACCU works in full judgment of its actions based on well-consulted opinion of its members.
Definition of Corruption & Various Types:
- By gross corruption is meant situations in which large sums of money change hands or services are performed, and in which the advantages one hopes to acquire are illegal or infringe established norms or business principles.
- Greasing and minor bribes are often referred to as petty corruption.
- A typical example of petty corruption is handing over a small sum of money to get a public servant actually to do his job. “Petty” implies that one is not encouraging an illicit act.
- ACCU Definition: Use of public resources for private gain.
ACCU’s theory of Change
The ACCU’s theory of change is premised on the fact that corruption is a vice that poses detrimental effects ranging from threats to stability and security of societies, undermines the institutional values of democracy, ethics and justice as well as jeopardising sustainable development and the rule of law.
ACCU believes that effective and sustainable development requires accountability spaces and a critical mass through which civil society organisations and citizens exercise their rights and responsibilities to engage duty bearers to be responsible and committed to the attainment of Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP) and it successful implementation.
ACCU further believes that citizens and civil society organisations require skills, knowledge, conviction, attitudes, confidence and methods of effectively preventing and figthing corruption in order to build strong accountability constituencies.
ACCU aspires to uphold its credibility as a strong institution by being transparent and accountable, whilst delivering on her mandate of generating and sharing information on the basis of which it carries out evidenced based advocacy engagements in harmony with strategic partners and the general public in exposing corruption.
ACCU Strategic Focus
The strategic focus of ACCU is anchored in its strategic objectives that attempt to put in place a forward looking framework, outlining possible actions that ACCU will implement in the next five years. The strategic focus is articulated into six priority strategic objectives that ACCU is currently pursing which include:
1. ACCU and her partners strengthened and their actions and strategies harmonised.
2. Civil society and constituency egagement strengthened and member organisations anti corruption roles refined.
3. Secretariat’s capacity to conduct evidence based research built.
4. Public institutions accountable to commitments on service delivery.
5. Cost effective operating processes and technologies established.
6. Competent institution and workforce of ACCU developed and maintained.