By Grace Turyatunga
Uganda participated in the Anti-Corruption Day ceremony on the 9th of December, 2021 at Kololo ceremonial grounds. The event was honored by the presence of The President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as the guest of Honor. The theme of the ceremony was “PROMOTING ACTIVE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY”.
The Executive Director of Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Mr. Benson Turamye gave a joint statement on behalf of other State Anti-Corruption institutions highlighting their commitment on the war to eliminate corruption by the State Anti-Corruption agencies which included;Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, Inspectorate of Government, Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Office of the Auditor General, Public and Procurement of Public Assets Authority, Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit, Criminal Investigations Directorate, Internal Security Agency , Financial Intelligence Authority and Leadership Code Tribunal.
According to Mr. Benson Turamye, the Anti-Corruption Agencies acknowledge that corruption and maladministration have continued to pose a great threat to the country with far reaching effects on the National Development Goal of “Increasing Household Income and Improving the Quality of life of Ugandans”. “Corruption is destructive to serve delivery and stands out as the primary enemy to all efforts towards the realization of the National Vision of a transformational Ugandan society from a peasant to a Modern and Prosperous country within 30 years as approved by Cabinet in 2007” he said.
Focusing on Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) under regulation of the procurement and disposal system, the PPDA Executive Director Mr.Benson Turamye stated that they undertook the Amendment of the PPDA Act and the new provisions arising from the amendment is the creation of efficiency and strengthening of sanctions for errant and corrupt officials in the procurement process. He thanked His Excellency the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for assenting to the amendment and further said they look forward to an effective and corrupt free procurement system in the coming years.
Furthermore, in line with the NRM Manifesto commitment to minimize human-to-human contact in the delivery of services, Benson Turamye further revealed that there has been an achievement in PPDA as an Anti-Corruption Agency in the fight against corruption eg by introducing and commencing the electronic Government Procurement system (e-GP), which will strengthen transparency, efficiency, competition and accountability and minimize corruption tendencies in procurement “the introduction of the e-GP means procurements will be online and there would not be an interaction between the provider and the entities, hence preventing corruption” he said.
He acknowledged the support of the government to the agencies though they still face a number of challenges along the way which include; Under funding of the agencies where the Anti-Corruption Agencies are provided with funding to meet majorly staff costs and administrative expenditures leaving funding of the operational work to the development partners, Inadequate personnel resulting into delayed completion of investigations, prosecutions and audits where he stated that currently the Inspectorate of Government had over 5000 ongoing investigations with the sum of money at stake being UGX 290.6 Billion and lastly lack of specialized equipment and training for the Anti- Corruption Agencies to affectively carry out their mandate of prosecutions, investigations and Audits.
The Anti-Corruption Agencies however commit to undertake key interventions to invigorate the war against the elimination of corruption in the next one year and these include; scaling up efforts in the enforcement of the full provisions of the Anti-Corruption laws, Deepening their efforts towards the prevention of corruption, strengthening and collaborating with the Non State actors, Religious, Cultural and Civil Society Organizations and lastly empowering and mobilizing the citizens of Uganda to demand for quality services due to them and report corrupt public officials involved in demanding for bribes.