President Museveni has washed himself clean of the rampant corruption in the government he superintendents, saying he has done everything possible to curtail it but within his powers.
“As president, I have put in place the leadership code; the office of the IGG; the State House Health Monitoring Committee and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit etc. All this was in addition to the previously existing accountability bodies such as the Auditor-General, CID, ISO, Parliamentary Oversight Committees, etc,” Museveni said.
“However, the corrupt elements try to infiltrate and curtail the actions of these agencies by compromising the personnel there.”
The president was responding to comments by members of the public in regards his recent article in which he said corruption has hindered the implementation of government programmes.
For many years, members of the public have blamed President Museveni for not taking stern action against government officials involved in corruption.
Many have since accused the president of turning a blind eyes as top government officials hide behind his name to steal from the public treasury but also continuing to appoint him in positions in government, to the detriment of members of the public.
However, responding to these allegations, the president said whereas he leads government and is supposed to nip corruption in the bud, he must do everything in accordance with the law.
“Yes, but I must follow the law and the Constitution. These involve the Police to investigate, the government lawyers to prosecute and the judges to convict and punish or acquit. Actually, the president comes in remotely in fighting crime. The president is the head of the executive and all executive authority is given to him or her by Article 99 (1) of the 1995 Constitution. However, he/she must exercise that power according to the Constitution and the laws of Uganda. Otherwise, that wonderful president, will become a problem himself or herself ,” Museveni said.
“He(the president) has powers over the political appointments to some extent by appointing ministers, RDCs, etc. He must, however, have clear evidence in order for him not to appoint so and so or dismiss him or her. Otherwise, it will cause new problems of lack of cohesion, of complaints about unfairness etc.”
Museveni insisted that he doesn’t handle any monies as president, insisting that he shouldn’t be blamed for money stolen.
“The president is neither a principal nor even a minor financial controller of the state money and assets. That role and power is given to five persons in Uganda; the Permanent Secretary in a ministry; the CEO in a parastatal or agency; the Town Clerk in a City or a Municipality; the CAO in a District; and the Sub-County chief in a sub-County. These five, are the custodians of government money, assets and personnel issues of public servants.”
The president however said the public has a critical role to play by providing evidence to pin the corrupt since they are the victims.
The development comes on the backdrop of the latest corruption scandal involving several ministers accused of swindling iron sheets meant for the vulnerable in Karamoja sub-region.
The Minister for Karamoja, Mary Goretti Kitutu has since been charged with corruption and leading to loss of government money and is currently on remand until tomorrow, Wednesday when he returns to court for a ruling on her bail application.
The latest corruption perception index released in February ranked Uganda as the fourth most corrupt country in the East African Community .
To attain this rank, Uganda maintained its score of 26 for the past two years after dropping from 28 in 2019.
Globally, Uganda ranks number 142 of 180.
The police, judiciary, tax services and land services sectors are the most corrupt institutions in the country in that order.