UGANDA REMAINS IN THE RED ZONE – CPI INDEX 2020

Published by Patra K on

Uganda Remains in the Red Zone - CPI INDEX 2020

Peter Wandera Transparency International Uganda, E.D and Nicole Bjerler, Head of DGF Uganda pose for a photo at the launch of the CPI last Thurday. (Photo courtesy of Flavia Nalubega, DGF)

Despite the progress of her regional counterparts with the exception of Burundi, Uganda is still worryingly lagging behind according to this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The 59-year-old nation has dropped by position and score from 28/100 in the 2019 CPI 2019 to 27/100 with a current position of 142/180 countries from the previous 137/180 countries.

The CPI report that was launched by Transparency International Uganda last Thursday, 28th January with the theme COVID19 and corruption showed that corruption is more pervasive in countries least equipped to handle the COVID 19 pandemic.

This annual index revealed that corruption increased in Uganda in this COVID-19 pandemic. Reasons for this are numerous but the most likely one is the existential scandals surrounding the management of COVID 19 funds.  Until now, Ugandans do not have a clue about how much money was contributed both locally and internationally to curb the pandemic and how it was utilized.

There was a surge of COVID19 entrepreneurs who made a kill from the procurements that were made, not least the production of face masks which were supposed to be distributed to every Ugandan. Money was spent but it is now six months and over half of the citizens are yet to receive the masks.

Additionally, due to election campaigns that have been ongoing, the attention of Ugandans shifted away from COVID 19 funds. The pandemic exposed corruption in Uganda henceforth citizens need to own this fight against corruption by bringing pressure to bear on the government to account for the funds and punish the corrupt.

This answers questions on how enormous sums of money candidates gave out to voters were acquired. A lot of COVID19 funds were injected into the elections and deliberations from the event show how money in politics facilitates political corruption.

Despite the myriad laws and institutions that Uganda has put in place to fight corruption, there are still no dire consequences for men and women that engage in graft. Corruption remains as lucrative as ever. It is as if the laws and institutions were put in place just to be seen to be fighting corruption without fighting it at all.

Commercialized politics only served to provide the fertile ground for political corruption to blossom and thrive. The lack of openness and transparency in financing politics is only aggravating the already grave situation.

Uganda continues to be ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. This emphasizes the need to strengthen oversight institutions and the laws in place, ensure openness and transparency.

The country must put an end to political corruption including defending democracy and promoting civic space as well as publishing relevant data to enhance access to information.

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