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Tuesday,November 24,2020 01:54 AM

Nobody is untouchable

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd May 2007 03:00 AM

THE arrest of two former ministers and the warrants against a third minister and a former state house official are important signals that the Government is serious about fighting corruption and that nobody is above the law.

THE arrest of two former ministers and the warrants against a third minister and a former state house official are important signals that the Government is serious about fighting corruption and that nobody is above the law.

THE arrest of two former ministers and the warrants against a third minister and a former state house official are important signals that the Government is serious about fighting corruption and that nobody is above the law.

Former health minister Jim Muhwezi and his deputy ministers Mike Mukula and Alex Kamugisha have been accused of diverting funds of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

The $4.3m (sh7.9b) was a reward for Uganda’s good performance in immunisation coverage in 2002. But the IGG investigation, which was ordered by President Yoweri Museveni, found that sh1.6b was unaccounted for.

Frustrated by the level of corruption among some of his closest allies, the President last month ordered the arrest and prosecution of those involved. Muhwezi, Mukula and Kaboyo immediately swung into action, using court to try and block their arrest.
In their petitions, they questioned the independence and the powers of the IGG.

They even went as far as trying to drag the President into the GAVI mess, claiming he knew about the funds and had directed them to divert some of the money. For two reasons, their arguments are not convincing.

One, as a member of the Constituent Assembly, Muhwezi was involved in defining and approving the position and the powers of the IGG. And two, Museveni’s directives are always in writing. More fundamentally, why would the President order an investigation into a scandal he was involved in himself?

But the GAVI scandal has also exposed the laxity of some donors in accounting for funds provided by tax payers somewhere in the world.

How can such an amount of money just be given as a reward? Was it based on an action plan and a budget proposal? Who was monitoring it? And how come the President, and not GAVI, ordered an investigation?

Let the due process of the law take its course. And let those who misused public money for personal enrichment be answerable.

Nobody is untouchable

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