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Students call for increased resources in fight against corruption

By Henry Sekanjako

Added 5th September 2019 11:41 AM

According to the students, the lack of enough resources by the agencies has limited investigations on corruption cases, which require advanced technology for evidence in courts of law.

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Best students and schools being awarded (Courtesy photo)

According to the students, the lack of enough resources by the agencies has limited investigations on corruption cases, which require advanced technology for evidence in courts of law.

CORRUPTION

Students have implored the government to consider allocating more funds towards national Anti-Corruption agencies if Uganda is to address the problem of corruption which they said affect service delivery.

According to the students, the lack of enough resources by the agencies has limited investigations on corruption cases, which require advanced technology for evidence in courts of law.

“The problem is not lack of laws against corruption, but limited resources for agencies that are supposed to implement these laws. You find that most of the officers that are supposed to follow up on corruption cases are poorly facilitated and lack funds to execute their duties,” Daphine Nabakooza, a student at Bright Grammar Primary School Masaka, said.

The National Debate Council (NDC), in partnership with the Parliament of Uganda, President’s office held the National Junior Schools Debate championship 2019 finale; where students debated whether it is the lack of resources or legal implementation that is responsible for rampant corruption in Uganda.

A number of primary schools across the country participated in the debate round, where Bright Grammar Primary School in Masaka emerged the winners of this year’ National Junior Schools Debate Champions 2019, against Kabale’s St Maria Goretti, the second runners-up.

During the final debate held at the office of the President, students argued that because of the presence of Anti-Corruption laws passed by Parliament, the government has been able to handle a number of corruption cases and prosecute the culprits.

Citing the case of the former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Geoffrey Kazinda who was prosecuted for embezzling public funds, the students noted that there is will to fight corruption, but because of the limited resources, much can’t be done.

“Most of these anti-corruption units are understaffed and lack skilled personnel to investigate corruption cases and this is so, because of the lack of resources,” Akram Lukyamuzi, a pupil at Bright Grammar Primary school said.

However opposing the motion, pupils from St Maria Goretti Primary School in Kabale, said Uganda has enough resources to fight corruption but lacked political will to implement anti-corruption laws.

The students noted that despite the government trying to address the issue of corruption, the vice has continued to grow.

“There is lack of patriotism among Ugandans, people especially those in public offices don’t mind about the country, they are embezzling funds that have been allocated by parliament for service delivery,”   Lucy Kirabo, a pupil at St Maria Gorretti said.

The students urged leaders among other Ugandans to love their country saying by doing so; they will learn to avoid corruption which affects service delivery and development of the country.

They commended the state House anti-corruption Unit headed by Lt Col. Edith Nakalema which they said has tried to fight corruption in the country.

Just like the students, Isaac Kigozi the board member National Debate Council hailed Nakalema whom he said will help Uganda get rid of corruption.

“I applaud her efforts, the bright light of Uganda has circumvented for many years by rogue actors more interested in enriching themselves at the detriment of others in our country,” he said.

Kigozi expressed optimism that engaging students in corruption-related issues will go a long way in fighting corruption in the country.

He said: “corruption is something that has affected our country for so many years; I think young minds like yourself (students), sharing this knowledge with your communities will be able to end corruption”.

On his part, the Executive Director, NDC Gasta Kakaire said engaging students in debates like the fight against corruption breeds future leaders that will stand to fight the vice.

He added that national school debates also help in building confidence and reasoning levels for children who are the future leaders of Uganda. The best students and schools were awarded medals, shoes, and trophies. 

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