So the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Uganda 142nd out of 175 countries, according to Transparency International. Based on expert opinion, Transparency International says our level of public sector dishonesty is 26 out of 100. Denmark is the most transparent with a score of 92/100 while So
trueBy Simon J. Mone
So the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Uganda 142nd out of 175 countries, according to Transparency International. Based on expert opinion, Transparency International says our level of public sector dishonesty is 26 out of 100. Denmark is the most transparent with a score of 92/100 while Somalia is the most corrupt (8/100).
No country got the perfect score (100). And more than 67% of the countries scored below 50. The scale starts from 0 (very corrupt) to 100 (very transparent).
For Uganda, 142nd means we are only 33 positions away from bottom placed Somalia. Our ability to serve means we owe each other some honesty. We should be seen to be transparent. Failure to be transparent will cause our children and our children’s children to adopt our bad manners.
Our statistic does not make pretty reading. To show why someone should get worried, listen to this. “Mummy, give me some money to buy sweets so that I can give to my friends at school. Why do you have to give them sweets?
Mum asks. If I do not give out sweets, I will not be elected a prefect, she responds”. This was my primary six niece asking for her mother’s support. At P.6 level, if it does not bother you, then what will? It shows how far the idea of money for something has gone.
From primary school up to university, everyone is fully aware that they must part with some valuables, if they should gain from a vote, or service. Favour is being coerced in offices, at schools and in the market place. The potential receiver is compelled by the actions of the giver.
Contractors have to leave a portion of the contract sum at the coffee table in order to win contracts. As a result, service levels have declined. Can we reverse the trend? Yes. It is possible. But will require commitment from all of us, not just the leaders.
We have got to start now. We should refrain from pointing fingers in the direction of high-profile officials only and not check ourselves because we are culpable ourselves. How are we dishonest? At our work places, we are contracted to work from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Meaning we should be at the work station early in order to get ready to begin at 8:00am. But we report late. Sometimes even beyond 10:00am. And we do not provide acceptable reasons for our late-coming. So we are being dishonest on our part by cheating the employer.
Offices are shut on Fridays by 3:00pm, denying clients a chance to get quality service. Time-keeping aside, let us talk about office accountability. The employer graciously gives its employee money to facilitate medical cover and out-of-office expenses.
And the employer expects the money to be accounted for. But what happens? There are shocking details of forged receipts. We always say a lot about the billions and millions of shillings that are being misappropriated in a procurement process or deposited in individual’s accounts. And we ignore playing our part to end corruption. We must start now to take little steps towards solving the problem.
Talking alone is not enough. It will require deliberate practical efforts from all Ugandans. But we have to refrain from encouraging and abetting dishonesty.
Let us not focus attention on high profile cases of embezzlement only; it starts with little misdemeanours that can potentially grow to such high-profile levels. So those that have not corrupted can hurl stones.
Corruption: they that are not corrupt can hurl the stones