By Vaster Kubakurungi
It’s of no doubt that corruption is on a rise in Uganda because it’s becoming more self-evident as we see over 23% of the annual budget lost to this vice in both private and public sectors according to the report released by the Inspectorate of government.
The other example will bring us to the recent Karamoja iron sheet scandal where the ministers appointed by His Excellency the president in power himself are not walking the talk. Instead of uplifting a troubled region, the ministers appointed to caretake the needs of Karamoja seem to have turned into plunderers. A long history continued.
For the fact that during colonial rule, the British considered Karamoja as a hunting ground, it has since been regarded as a backward and troublesome area. Could all the other parts of Uganda be against Karamoja or it’s just a perception that it will never develop? What is really hindering their development, is it corruption as recently revealed?
The poor Karomajong already suffer from natural calamities like an inhospitable climate and intractable primitive ways of living which in my view are contributors to hindrances to them reaching at least the standards of other parts of the country. As if that is not enough, the people entrusted in power to develop the area and changing the myth phrases like “we shall not wait for the Karamajong to develop”, “I will love you until Karamoja develops” used sarcastically to mean they shall not wait for slow people or they will love them endlessly, are instead allocating the funds to themselves. How will the phrase and beliefs change?
How will corruption come to an end in our mother land Uganda? In 2021, the controversial Life Style Audit policy was launched with an intention of capturing the corrupt leaders where the president warned that the policy might prompt government thieves to invest the embezzled funds in outside countries. However, the Inspector General of Government, Hon. Betty Kamya, recently resurrected the policy after the Karamoja iron sheet stories and ordered all government officials to declare their wealth for investigation. Has this been put into practice or we shall not wait for karamajong to develop, regardless we move? How many have so far declared their wealth meanwhile?
How will they be able to tell that one has under declared or over declared wealth?
Karamoja would be contributing to Uganda’s economy if it was earlier thought about in terms of developed because it is rich in land and pastoralism highly practiced however; it’s still not too late to think about that.