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Anti-corruption: Uganda asked to review judicial process
22 November 2010
New Vision

Kampala: Uganda has been asked to review its judicial process for fighting corruption.  The recommendations of the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and donor agencies were contained in the first annual report on corruption in Uganda.  The new report approach, called the Data Tracking Mechanism (DTM), proposes that Uganda adapts best practices from other countries like Bangladesh, which gives a 60-day ultimatum for prosecuting cases, Ghana that fast-tracks cases and Singapore that protects whistle-blowers.

The DTM uses actionable indicators that measure specific reform and policy changes to measure progress.

Speaking yesterday at the report launch in Kampala, Raphael Baku, the acting IGG, said previous reports have been based on perceptions.  "But the question puzzling everybody is corruption is not seen to be decreasing," he said.

Baku said currently, the IGG lacks legal strength.  "We have been paralysed in the enforcement of the leadership code," said Baku.

But the director of public prosecution, Richard Buteera, said the Anti-corruption Agencies Group, a special task force, is viewing the law with the intention of revising it to strengthen the IGG.

Xavier Mugisha, the EPRC senior research fellow, while presenting the report, said Uganda had got some of the best institutions and anti-corruption laws.  He cited the Global Integrity Report 2009, which indicated that Uganda had a 99% good legal framework, but scored just 45% on implementation.  However, in 2009, the IGG prosecuted just one out of a possible 164 cases. Sixty-seven cases were carried over, while 58 are pending.

Kundhavi Kadiresan, the World Bank country representative, said the poor levels of service delivery, including absenteeism by health workers and teachers, affect development.

The report also advises that the PPDA publish a list of awarded contracts in a given quarter and include names of contractors, contract value and purpose of contract.  The Auditor General was advised to maintain formal communication with the public.

Keywords: anti-corruption, service delivery, Uganda
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