BY DOREEN NASASIRA – 

President Museveni has commended the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda for working with the government in the fight against the vice of corruption.

He said the NRM Government strongly believes that religious leaders and institutions have a constitutional duty to contribute to and promote various Government programs, including the war against corruption.

PM Rugunda signs the intergrity canvas as Bishop Lwere(L), Deputy IGG, Bamugemereire(C) and Minister, Hon. Lokodo(R) look on at the Retreat on Thursday at Serena Hotel, Kigo(PMPU Photo)

The President made the remarks in his speech which was delivered by the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the closing ceremony of the retreat on Anti-corruption in Uganda, organised under the theme ” Enhancing Voice and Action on Integrity and Ethical Conduct for Religious Leaders in Uganda” at Serena Hotel kigo on Thursday.

Museveni said the elimination of corruption and misuse of power remains a major commitment of the NRM Government and several significant strides have already been achieved in this direction including strengthening the capacity to investigate, prosecute and punish the culprits engaged in corruption.

He said this is because corruption is immoral and practically detrimental to social cohesion since it creates an unjust disequilibrium and inequality in society.

He added that corruption undermines national development and urged the public to desist from it.

“The fight against corruption is a calling of every patriotic citizen because corruption is an enemy, which undermines national development. Creating public awareness against corruption equips the population with information on how to hold leaders accountable, in the execution of their public duties,” Museveni said.

The President also condemned those who engage in acts of corruption, noting that they undermine the key pillars of Patriotism, Pan- Africanism, Socio-economic transformation, and Democracy which are fundamental in uplifting and benefitting society.

He said the individual accumulation of wealth through corruption is a recipe for disaster and thus asked the public to pursue collective interests such as political stability and peace, education, proper health for all, economic infrastructure development, jobs, and household incomes among others.

“If you only focus on yourself or your family or tribe, by illegally amassing wealth and misusing the power entrusted to you, you relegate to a small island, which will only sink, in a short time. There is security in having everyone prosperous, rather than a few, whose wealth is as a result of corrupt means,” the President said.

The President also noted that in the past, systems like the slave trade, colonialism, segregation, tyranny and apartheid which were built on corruption and oppression faced resistance and collapsed because they failed to serve the interests of a certain section of humanity.

He added that anyone who chooses to be corrupt is an enemy of the people and should face the full wrath of the law.

He cautioned the public servants to shun from asking for bribes and the public not to give bribes.

The minister of Ethics and Integrity, Reverend Father Simon Peter Lokodo said the commitment by religious institutions to partner with the state in the fight against corruption showed the good relations that exist between the two entities.

The minister who called for a change of heart among Ugandans blamed the high level of moral decadence which has facilitated corruption on lack of conscience.

The Deputy Inspector General of Government, George Bamugemereire highlighted some initiatives that the government has put in place to enhance efforts in the fight against corruption and these include; budget increment to the IGG directorate, minimisation of the human interface which facilitates soliciting of bribes, and improving supervision since poor supervision promotes corruption.

The Head of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Uganda, Dr. Matte Daniel said the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, partners with the government in areas of national dialogue, Food security, and the fight against corruption to strengthen efforts in the social-economic transformation of the country.

The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda has been collaborating with the government by contributing to its national-wide anti-corruption crusade through the use of spiritual and moral interventions since 2018.

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Ends.