By Catherine Bekunda
ETHICS and integrity minister Nsaba Buturo has called for heavy punishment of officials named in the mismanagement of funds for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place in Kampala in November 2007.
Buturo urged the Criminal Investigations Department to quickly take up the cases, prosecute those responsible and recover the funds.
He commended the public accounts committee of Parliament, which is currently reviewing the Auditor Generalâ€™s report on the CHOGM.
â€œPeople are taking pleasure in stealing and this should not happen,â€ he told a press conference in Kampala yesterday. â€œHow can one claim to love Uganda while denying people resources that would improve their well being?â€
The cost for hosting CHOGM has gone up to sh370b, up from the original budget of sh207b. More bills are still outstanding from various ministries.
The Government lost billions of shillings in the irregular procurement of the CHOGM cars, road construction and repairs, and the renovation of Entebbe International Airport, according to the Auditor Generalâ€™s reports that have been posted on the Internet.
Buturo vowed to support the Anti-Corruption Court in recovering all lost funds, saying â€œeveryone should pay for their sins.â€
The minister appealed to the Government to come out strongly and support the public accounts committee to carry out its functions. He regretted that people who are supposed to recover the money are compromised and stressed that no one should be exempt if found guilty.
â€œThe corrupt and dishonest are a liability to our country and they should be heavily punished,â€ the minister said. â€œCorruption is a major threat to the stability and security of the country.â€
Buturo told journalists that he had launched the Workplace Fellowship Network to spearhead efforts to practice values of honesty and integrity at the workplace if workers are to witness transformation.
â€œIt is time for Christians to unite and launch a robust campaign for integrity in the nation,â€ the minister said.
â€œWorkers are the gatekeepers of good morality and they have to challenge higher authorities if they do wrong,â€ noted Faith Katana, the chairperson of the State House fellowship.