Civil society organisations today announced an anti-corruption week, starting tomorrow, Monday to mourn the heightened levels of grand theft of public resources, especially by government officials.

The development came as Germany became the latest country to suspend budget-support aid to Uganda because of theft by government officials, of money meant to help impoverished citizens. Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Dirk Niebel said on Friday that Germany would stand with fellow donors and turn off its aid taps. Germany was also concerned that Uganda appears to support Congo’s M23 rebels, something Kampala has vehemently denied.

Led by the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda (ACCU), the CSOs gave the theme of the week as ‘Act against corruption now’. Other organisations include Action Aid, Uganda Debt Network (UDN), Transparency International, and Uganda National NGO Forum. They said the campaign would help expose the thieves in the country, citing  scandals  in the pension section in the ministry of Public Service, Office of the Prime Minister, and ministry of Local Government (LC bicycles), among others.

In one of the present scams, about Shs 50bn is believed to have been swindled in the OPM, with a host of civil servants, including OPM Principal Accountant Geoffrey Kazinda, already interdicted over the graft. The East African Bribery Report 2012, by Transparency International, ranks Uganda the most corrupt country in the region, with most bribery being recorded in the public service sector instead of private sector.

ACCU Executive Director Cissy Kagaba says corruption in the country has reached the stage where it’s no longer mere corruption and theft of funds, but terrorism.

“It’s no longer corruption, but real terrorism,” Kagaba told a press conference today. “The biggest problem is that the corrupt are always recycled in cabinet and other government offices. This is as if the government is condoning instead of fighting the vice. It is unfortunate.”

During the week, the CSOs will conduct several activities, including public dialogues to let the public know of what’s going on in the country.

“Our message is primarily targeted to the President, requesting him to respect the people who voted him into power and take stern actions against the corrupt including those close to him,” ACCU said in press statement.

The CSOs want President Museveni to expose and punish those implicated in corruption scandals, end impunity by not recycling the implicated officials from one office to another, and ensure that those found guilty have not only their accounts frozen, but also their properties seized.

Already donor countries, like the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, have suspended aid to Uganda, because of concerns over grand theft by government officials, especially in the OPM.

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+4 #1 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 03:01
"Germany was also concerned that Uganda appears to support Congo’s M23 rebels, something Kampala has vehemently denied." reports Alon Mwesigwa.

If there is trafficking of Congolese minerals and lumber smuggling through Uganda, there is ample evidence to believe Uganda and Rwanda support M23 rebels.

Europe has enough fiscal problems of its own to drop foreign aid.
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+8 #2 Muslim 2012-12-03 06:39
WAKE UP CALL: I commend the Civil Society Organizations for taking the initiative to voice their frustration over corruption in the NRM regime.

However one thing that Ugandans have amazingly refused to learn is the fact that, President Kaguta Museveni has long run out of solutions for our dear country.

The man, is not just tired, he is as a matter of fact incapable of managing the affairs of state. So to ask him for a solution to corruption when his own kith and kin are part of the game ... is to expect too much from him. GOD save our country.
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+1 #3 pat 2012-12-03 12:49
"You can never rise above the knowledge in your head" the Bible says and indeed its true.
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+4 #4 kelem 2012-12-03 13:01
Corruption is personified in museveni and his regime
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+1 #5 john 2012-12-03 13:56
betty Long Cap, You seem to know the fiscal problems in Europe more than the Europeans themselves, why don't you simply emigrate there and leave us alone?
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+3 #6 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-03 15:30
Quoting john:
...You seem to know the fiscal problems in Europe more than the Europeans themselves....

The world is in the early stages of economic holocaust and john wants to be left alone. That is exactly what the west is doing by cutting off foreign aid.
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+2 #7 Akot 2012-12-03 22:29
Betty Long Cap is absoloutely right, we are suffocating under austerity measures in EU & don't see any flicker of light in any tunnel - even our minimum wage/minimum saving is taxed, lottery already over taxed is being retaxed, there is no more middle class, just rich & poor & the rich are being over taxed, there is no porspect of jobs that could ease the situatin, our kids are gettgng ou of training & there are barely jobs!

NGOs get donations from the rich & governments in & this are becoming smaller, less! Europe is cutting down on food banks for its poor - Germany, the biggest doner has withdrawn, its people can't afford giving any more!

Yet countries like Uganda want all to turn blind eye to corruption that deprives the poor for whom aid is given - these poor barely benefit at all from donations!
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+1 #8 kabayekka 2012-12-04 03:35
One wants to sympathise with Uganda Debt Network. Under this regime early on, they did campaign so that the international community can stop asking for repayments from very poor indebted countries that were unable to pay back their mountain debts.

And now look presently what the Bank of Uganda is doing and the Ministry of Finance? Where for heavens sake are these financial institutions going to
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+1 #9 Jay 2012-12-04 05:11
What took you so long, Germany? You should have known about this theft-ridden regime eons ago and spared your citizens' hard-earned cash from being squandered.

You've been at this for twenty or so years but what good has it served you or the impoverished people of Uganda?

You've had a mission (Embassy) in the country all this time so why did it take you this long to finally grasp the truth?
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+1 #10 Raymond Otika 2012-12-04 13:03
We take too many things for granted and the donors don't owe us a living! To tame and teach us a permanent lesson, let the donors cut the damn aid for a year or more, even for good.

In that way we shall wake up and start working harder, become honest and learn to save for what we spend. We shall also see where our greedy, bragging, insensitive and enigmas politicians like Amama Mbabazi offload donor money to buy and fuel new state of the art Mercedes Benz.
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0 #11 Phillip Rusa 2012-12-04 20:17
They say it accounts for 25% of the budget, but i think that number cannot be true. If it was 25% it would not be so disastrous, relatively of course. An article from CATO institute in 2005 remarks its about 50%. Citing little development in our trade or industry, I would estimate we are still about 40% beneficiaries of foreign aid.

Another article states that Uganda is the 6th largest receipient of Official Development Assitance. That is from 2012, with about figures of $ 1,786 Million. This doesn't account money going into NGOs.

So where is all this money, and more so, I am still not hearing any sackings.

With Europe's financial condition, let's be logical, these boys are not playing around with suspending cuts. Words will only stop at their ears. Action my friends, action.
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+1 #12 Akot 2012-12-04 21:28
For years we blamed all dev.nation financing Museveni's corrupt military junta & no one listened. Today we thank all these nations for being humane in stoping bolstering, supporting, financing an anti people's regime!

The money Museveni & his henchmen have embazeled is enough for his survive; after all they help no one - not the needy for whom help is destined!

Museveni is richer than all the leaders of these nations donating to Uganda!

How can any dev.nation give such amount of money or assistance to any adm. with no accountability? Spiting on Ugandans for having given him asylum is one thing, but using dev.naions' tax money to bolster his dictatorship & hold on Uganda beats me!

Promotion of good governance should be the only reason dev.nations help the rest of the world!
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0 #13 Betty Long Cap 2012-12-04 22:42
Quoting Akot:
For years we blamed all dev.nation financing Museveni's corrupt military junta & no one listened. Today we thank all these nations for being humane in stoping bolstering, supporting, financing an anti people's regime!

Akot, recently people were bragging how Museveni outfoxed the west. Typically, sub-Saharan dictators retain 80% of foreign aid for their personal benefit and the rest went to help the poor. Slowly, it dawns on them THE DICTATOR outfoxed donors and Ugandans.

Ugandans have only three choices: acceptance, unification, or secession. The west is quickly reaching the point of frankly, I do not care; we have problems enough of our own.
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