KAMPALA: The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has faulted government for failure to stamp corruption out of the country.
Mr Oulanyah was yesterday officiating at the third Statutory meeting on good governance by the Forum of Parliaments of Member States of the International Conference on the Great lakes Region, at the Commonwealth Resort hotel in Munyonyo.
“If you want the best laws against corruption, come to Uganda, if you want the best institutions, come to Uganda but also if you want a case where corruption is flourishing, and come to Uganda,” he said.
The two-day workshop is hinged on the fight against corruption in the Great Lakes region.
Mr Oulanyah said whereas there are enabling institutional and legal frameworks against corruption in the country, it remains a serious vice in Uganda, championed by greed for wealth.
The Deputy Speaker also said that in order to curb this vice, there is need for robust political will, engendered towards changing people’s attitudes.
He blamed the insatiable greed for wealth on some parents who want quick gains out of their school dues to their children.
“Parents compare what other children have in the shortest time frame after university; it is this pressure that pushes the youths into cutting corners (taking bribes) to acquire quick wealth desirous of their parents,” said Mr Oulanyah.
“We cherish corruption, we praise them we live with them but we need to revert this attitude,” he added.
Just recently, a study report entitled: ‘Corruption reporting in East Africa’, ranked Rwanda with the best record in fighting corruption with the highest reporting levels of about 36 percent, with Burundi ranked second at 24 percent. The report rates citizens reporting of corruption in Uganda at only 7 per cent, behind Kenya at 11 percent, but tied with Tanzania, also at 7 percent.
Uganda also ranks high on the list of highly corrupt countries in the World; at 151 out of 176 countries while Rwanda (50) is the least corrupt in the Great Lakes Region according to the 2016 Corruption perception Indices.
The Deputy Speaker also criticised donors who conspire with high-ranking government officials for kickbacks to a tune of 40 percent of loans and grants yet the country is expected to pay full amounts.
Like the Deputy Speaker, Mr Arinaitwe Rwakajara, a workers’ representative in Parliament who also doubles as a Commissioner of Parliament said there is need for attitude change of the masses.
“It is the people at the grassroots that we need to target for attitude change,” he said.
However, Mr Prosper Higiro, the Secretary General of the Forum of Parliaments of International Conference on the Great Lakes Region said that member states need first, to accept that “corruption is a reality in our countries and the first step is to recognise its existence and understand very well this phenomenon.”
“The negative impact of political corruption on investment predominantly affects economic growth because, if we are to consider attitudes, we need to look seriously into the code of conduct and ethics of leaders,” he said.
He also asked member states to benchmark Rwanda on enforcement of the laws.
“Rwanda’s performance results from a vigorous anti-corruption policy and enforcement supported by the political will,” he added.