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District leaders launch anti-corruption drive

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th June 2008 03:00 AM

APAC

RAMPANT corruption, abuse of office and inadequate dispensation of justice has prompted Apac district leaders to act fast to avert what they described as “a looming disaster.”

APAC

RAMPANT corruption, abuse of office and inadequate dispensation of justice has prompted Apac district leaders to act fast to avert what they described as “a looming disaster.”

APAC

By Patrick Jaramogi

RAMPANT corruption, abuse of office and inadequate dispensation of justice has prompted Apac district leaders to act fast to avert what they described as “a looming disaster.”

Political, civic and NGO leaders have launched a four-year programme to build community participation in local governance and to protect citizens from crimes and injustice.

The resident district commissioner, James Jurwa, launched the programme recently and described the democracy situation in the district as “pathetic”.

“We cannot afford to sit and watch as democracy gets eroded in the district. As leaders we need to act fast and sort this out,” he said.

The governance programme is to be implemented by Apac NGO forum, a consortium of NGOs operating in the district, with support from MS-Uganda, a Danish international aid agency. It is hoped that it will offer some solutions to the district’s governance issues.

“We have rampant corruption, there is a lot of police brutality on civilians and lack of information sharing among the leaders and the led,” Jurwa said during the launch at the NGO forum offices.

Jurwa explained that blatant human rights abuse coupled with corrupt police and judicial officers had contributed to the low level of development in Apac.

“ We know that money changes hands between the police, and the judiciary and we are investigating this. It must stop forthwith.”

Jurwa expressed dismay at the way anti-corruption activists were treated while corruption and other crimes continued to rise.

“Defilement and rape are rampant here, people are corrupt and families spend huge amounts of money getting their relatives out of jail. This is not democracy at all.”

The district leaders noted that Apac was among the least developed districts, with low education and high school drop- out rates, poor health facilities and bad roads.

The Apac town council mayor, Jimmy Okello, said the district would ensure that the rights of the people are protected. “This programme will help us promote democracy and achieve human rights. It is a citizen’s right to have security, health services and water,” he said.

The district vice-chairperson, Bob Okae, said the district would support all NGOs that promote democracy in the district.

The NGO forum coordinator, Sam Jamara, said during the programme’s four-year tenure, it would focus on activities geared at promoting knowledge of relevant legislation, democratic rights and obligations.

“We are going to increase participation of communities, especially women and young people,” he explained.

The NGO forum chairperson, Humphrey Okilla, said district ders had an obligation to support the pro-poor policy framework. “Through networking and collaboration we shall bring positive change to the district,” he said.

The MS-Uganda country director, Mads JØergensen, said the aim of the programme was to draw global attention to the plight of civilians affected by years of insurgency in northern Uganda.

District leaders launch anti-corruption drive

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