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Reprimanding one civil servant makes no news

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th October 2009 03:00 AM

EDITOR—I wish to comment on your editorial of October 8 entitled “Action on corruption commendable”. It is great to hear that the NRM government has finally seen the light on how adversely corrupt officials are affecting the national economy. Howeve

EDITOR—I wish to comment on your editorial of October 8 entitled “Action on corruption commendable”. It is great to hear that the NRM government has finally seen the light on how adversely corrupt officials are affecting the national economy. Howeve

EDITOR—I wish to comment on your editorial of October 8 entitled “Action on corruption commendable”. It is great to hear that the NRM government has finally seen the light on how adversely corrupt officials are affecting the national economy. However, reprimanding one civil servant to make news is not news at all.

Government must fight corruption not only selectively but through aggressive policy formulation and implementation while involving all stakeholders. Secondly, Government should aim at strengthening institutions to ensure that they are effective in combing out corrupt officials rather than relying on presidential directives in the fight.

Today most institutions in the country are manipulated by top political leaders who influence and pressure civil servants to constrain institutional effectiveness in the delivery of the public good.

Operations in public office are based on systematic complexities whose foundations are grounded in corruption and patronage and a strong executive dominance. Most institutions and rules in Uganda are not designed to ensure that public officials work for the good of the public but to advance their own private gains. This creates an environment for corrupt behaviour in institutions due to limited lines of accountability.

Yet accountability and availability of sanctions (rules) reflect neo-institutionalist common sense about the conditions of effective institutions.

On the other hand, “great concentration of power; political, economic, and bureaucratic, together with the accelerated pace of economic development prove fertile grounds for corruption” (Eker 1981).

The basis for containing corruption in Uganda should aim at demonopolising decision-making, limiting discretion and instituting and enforcing clear and aggressive mechanisms of accountability.

Michael Kaluya
Dallas Texas, USA

Reprimanding one civil servant makes no news

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