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Justice should not only be done but always be seen to be done

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th July 2015 11:44 AM

Corruption still remains the number one cancer in Uganda, looking at the Corruption Perception Index.

Justice should not only be done but always be seen to be done

Corruption still remains the number one cancer in Uganda, looking at the Corruption Perception Index.



By Adellah Agaba

It is the beginning of a new financial year and as tax payers, we will always hope that even with the establishment of new taxes, there is proper accountability and transparency from the Government and public servants in charge of these offices holding them in trust of the citizens.

Corruption still remains the number one cancer in Uganda, looking at the Corruption Perception Index.

In 2014, Uganda stood at 142 in position out of 174 countries assessed compared to 2013 where the country was 140th position out of 177 countries, meaning there is a considerable decline in the fight against corruption and public opinions are still negative on the vice.

We will not tire of reminding Ugandan tax payers of the several cases involving hefty sums of money that have remained fresh in our day to day lives with some still unresolved by the courts of law.

The OPM scam where over sh50b was misappropriated and taxpayers resources were used to refund the donors, National ID project whose ghost remains haunting Ugandans; sh2.7b lost in NAADS programme  in 2009 and abuse of Government vehicles and drivers, procurement and contract management issues, mismanagement of GAVI funds in 2006.

Compensation of over sh142b to Hassan Bassajabalaba and now the most recent dismissal of the multi-billion (sh165b) Pensions Case by the Anti-Corruption Court due to state failure to produce state witnesses in court against the suspects who are now walking scot free on the streets.

Recent developments have put the legal fraternity in the spotlight in the pensions scam and one wonders where to run to for redress to access justice with the now established loopholes. MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probing the pension scam  unveiled  a city lawyer who took sh15b pension funds which was paid fraudulently on top of the already misappropriated sh165b meant for Ugandan pensioners.

It is still imperative on the Attorney General to appeal against the judgment and re-instate the case as soon as possible, the Inspector General of Police directs the Professional Standards Unit of the Police to investigate the bribery allegations against the CIID detectives who handled the case and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions expeditiously opens up criminal proceedings against individuals and/or institutions suspected to have jeopardised the case leading to its dismissal.

On the other hand, the investigative, technical and other capacities (including operations and modern equipment) should be strengthened amongst the key anti-graft institutions like the IG, DPP, Auditor General, Police CIID among others through budget re-allocations, within the same national resource envelope.

Ugandans too should play their constitutional role and civic responsibility as per the 1995 constitutional provision Article 17(i) which emphasises the duty of every citizen to combat corruption, misuse or wastage of public property.

Government must be accountable to tax payers in this Financial Year 2015/16.

The writer works with Uganda Debt Network

Justice should not only be done but always be seen to be done

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