Civil Society Organisations yesterday added their voice to those demanding for the sacking of the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Last week, MPs mounted pressure on the government, demanding that Mr Pius Bigirimana be sacked.
The Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, DENIVA, Transparency Uganda, Centre for Constitutional Government, Uganda National NGO Forum and others joined MPs yesterday demanding action against corrupt officials but specifically turning the pressure on President Museveni.
In a statement, they said the government under President Museveni has repeatedly declared zero tolerance to corruption but little has been done to live up to this promise.
“We are rebranding the fight. It’s no longer corruption, it’s theft because each time a graft case comes up, a commission of inquiry is put in place and a report is released after three years and at the end the of the day the implicated people are exonerated,” Mr Arthur Larok, the country director of Action Aid, said.
The magnitude of reported grand theft of taxpayers’ money has over the years increased dramatically, according to the statement.
Reference was made to the 1999 valley dam scandal worth Shs4 billion, the 24,000 ghost soldiers worth Shs600 million in 2003, GAVI scandal of Shs1.6 billion in 2003, the 2008 Temangalo scam worth Shs11 billion, 1998 junk choppers worth Shs20 billion, 2008 NSSF scam worth Shs1 billion, Basajjabalaba scandal worth Shs169 billion, 2007 CHOGM scam worth Shs247 billion, 2011 bicycle scandal worth Shs18 billion and the recent Shs169 billion pension scam.
‘If only those stolen monies were put in the education sector, all our primary school children who go without lunch would have luch for five years,” the executive director of the National NGO Forum, Mr Richard Ssewakiryanga, said.
The organisations announced a week-long period of mourning against corruption beginning today.