Criticism Aside, the #AntiCorruptionWalk May Contribute to the Fight on Corruption Afterall
It’s a laughable matter having two competing forces government Vs activist in commemorating this day. I know we can all blame the President for the corruption situation in the country today; God knows I do too! And for him to lead a match/walk in protest against corruption, its just hillerious in its order. However much this walk, pointless as many may think or say, it may be a blessing in disguise. President Museveni as the head of state coming out to walk has placed him on a firing squared, placing the power to fight corruption back to the public, here is why;
- Increased National Whistleblowing: There has been less attention paid to reports against corrupt officials, however, the walk massively creates awareness among the people against corruption. However proper mechanisms have to be established to protect the whistle blower and most importantly government must decide which department should handle cases of corruption either the IGG or the Anti-Corruption Unit. In my opinion, the IGG as an institution needs to be strengthened/empowered to carry out its role and not replicated. Whistleblowing will lead to the next point.
- Chance to clean the rot in the Public Service: There is a lot of direct and passive corruption happening in the public service sector and we as Ugandans suffer the Consequences. I mean, ‘they have become so good that now the exchange of money is considered as “akasimo” (appreciation).’ Others don’t manage time, payless attention to their role, or skip work with no penalty; this too is a form of corruption! specifically its passive corruption. To make matters worse, as a person on the other end (we the citizens), you cannot even report because you need them to serve you… hence fighting this will be difficult but this walk offers that hope to hold the head of state through his administration/respective heads of unit alongside the IGG/Anticorruption unit (whichever) accountable.
- Touch the so-called Untouchables; If the president (the principle of power in the nation) can come out even though we have our reservations on that, then who are the other people we cannot talk attack? The president surrounded by the most corrupt administrators both out and in high positions in government. We also know them as heads of power centers, they seem to have too much power and control over public resources and they use them for selfish gain. However, the walk opens a window for the public to report them for action and not fear losing the chance to be served or attacked, especially if they are well protected. Using the media and public channels is encouraged here too. However, this can only work best if the next point is streamlined.
- Punishment of Corrupt Officials or Individuals: This entire walk and suggestions will be meaningless if the measures of punishment are not transparent and affirmative. The legislature, judiciary and the state/police to be a specific need to be empowered to independently act by established law. The walk with the president involved gives an oppotunity to hold him accountable if he interviews with the hand of the law! Hence giving room for free and fair just processes! Never the less, policy reforms and enforcement efforts will need to be urgently innitiated.
In conclusion, corruption is a two-sided coin, both we the citizens, authorities and the head are responsible. We don’t need to wait for the president to become an activit to realise we need to be the difference first. Therefore it starts with being honest with each other, for example by realizing even in civil society, there is a lot of corruption hence lets not be quick to cast the stone first. But nevertheless, it’s never too late to be good, and that’s why am one of those who welcome the walk. However, it will have to take a lot of reforms, empowering of the respective institutions and citizen sensitisation on their role to end corruption right from self to that practised by other individuals both in authority and society.