Anti-corruption walk: Museveni labelled ‘master of bribery’

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[Cartoon by Spire Jimmy Ssentongo/ The Observer]

On Wednesday December 4, 2019, President Museveni will lead an anti-corruption walk from the Constitutional Square in Kampala to Kololo Airstrip.

The walk will be held under the theme “A corruption-free Uganda starts with me”.

The planned walk has stirred severe criticism from his opponents like Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who labelled him “the master of bribery”.

“Laughable and yet absurd. The chief priest of corruption plans to lead an ‘anti-corruption’ walk in Kampala! Check all the listed scandals and you’ll trace them right from his door,” Bobi Wine lashed out on Twitter.

He added: “The master of bribery, nepotism, sectarianism, vote rigging, misuse of power, etc. How shameless!”

Bobi Wine who is currently in the United Arab Emirates was Friday photographed at Almamzar beach in Dubai city where he attended the People Power BBQ.

On Saturday morning, he was hosted on ‘Talk to Al Jazeera’ by award-winning journalist James Bays to discuss opposition struggle to rid Uganda of dictatorship and impunity.

He told Al Jazeera that Museveni is planning to rig 2021 elections as he has done before but that this time, Ugandans will rise up against him.

Commitment or a joke?

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) described the forthcoming anti-corruption walk as an indication of a high level of commitment and visibility in the fight against corruption in Uganda.

Mariam Wangadya, the Second Deputy Inspector General of Government says Museveni has played a big role in fighting corruption through instituting bodies like IG and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit which has unearthed many cases of corruption and uprooted corrupt officials in the country.

“What’s wrong with the president participating in this walk? After all he’s the elected leader of government and the country. We welcome his participation in this fight against corruption. It should be remembered that these instructions, including the Inspectorate of Government and State House Anticorruption did not exist before Museveni’s government came into office. The president being the fountain of honour who has created institutions to fight corruption is going to give this fight (against corruption) visibility,” Wangadya is quoted by Uganda Radio Network [URN] as saying.

But

But Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the national coordinator of the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT party, said the walk was a mockery, intended to confuse the masses to believe that Museveni has the will to fight corruption.

He says that the only way people will believe Museveni efforts in the fight against corruption is when he starts to arrest top government officials implicated for corruption including ministers and permanent secretaries among others. 

“Now they are running all over the country trying to see how to confuse the public to make it seem as if they are concerned, and as if they can turn around the situation. It is too late for them. They just simply can’t do that, and corruption is going to remain a central issue or a thorn in their backside. And they can’t manage it, they can’t turn it around…I hope the population will not get confused by those knee-jerk reactions,” said Muntu.

“The only way to know that Gen Museveni is now serious is to start by arresting people from the top. But he will not do that because they are the pillars of his survival, he can’t tackle them. They are trapped, he’s trapped to clean them up and to clean up corruption. Forget about those antics, there is no way they are going to turn around the situation as far as corruption is concerned. They are part and parcel of it, a few small people are going to suffer. You can never tackle corruption unless you start from the top.”

Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda, the former Chairperson for Kick Corruption out of Uganda, said that Uganda does not have visible examples of cases where the government has eliminated corruption.

“What can show Ugandans that Museveni’s actions in fighting corruption have yielded fruits? May be he will walk for two hours yet he has been in power for over 30 years and failed to kick out corruption. How many hours are those? Let President Museveni and his people come out and give us examples of corruption cases that were prosecuted up to the end. There was a case of billions of money irregularly imported in this country. What happened to the case,” he said.

According to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index report by Transparency International, Uganda ranked 149 out of 175 countries with his corruption cases.

Additional reporting by URN

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