The MPs who left Kyankwanzi are the epitome of a new Uganda. We are fed up of a country constantly drifting to stone age times simply because of selfish interests who don't have any shame when the economy is messed up, everything is upside down, but they enjoy with their families.
2 Peter 2:19 ESV / 81 helpful votes
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
MPs WALK OUT ON MUSEVENI
By Yasiin Mugerwa & Sheila Naturinda
Posted Sunday, October 23 2011 at 00:00
Why they walked way
“When we saw that some of our members were conniving with the President to hijack the independence of Parliament we walked out.”
“I don’t take alcohol that I disregard what I debated on the floor so when they come on the floor to rescind them, I will definitely oppose them again.”
“My conscience wouldn’t allow me be part of a group which wants to hoodwink the public. Why didn’t we do it in the open but hide in Kyankwanzi?”
“I have never seen honorable MPs debate and turn around to say they debated with no information.”
“We can’t be party to undermine the institution of Parliament.”
“Some of us are not willing to change Parliament resolutions because it is our country first. Let them have their views and we have ours.”
In an unprecedented response to what they called “a sinister plot to hijack the independence of Parliament and entrench corruption in the oil sector”, a group of legislators yesterday walked out on President Museveni at the party’s stormy Kyankwanzi retreat.
Those who witnessed this drama, told Sunday Monitor that the trouble began after the President proposed that the NRM Caucus resolve to overturn the Parliament resolutions on oil that placed a moratorium on executing oil contracts and oil transactions on the Executive until the necessary laws have been passed by Parliament.
“The President wanted us to give him power to proceed and sign new oil agreements as if nothing happened in Parliament and we thought this was ridiculous,” a source said. “We told him that we were not drunk by the time we passed a resolution to halt the signing of new agreements. We wanted to first see transparency and accountability before oil turns into a curse.”
When the President refused to budge, the retreat that had started on a lighter note, proposing ways on how to fix the strained economy later turned riotous with ministers led by Henry Banyenzaki (State Economic Monitoring) and other members from the Movement Secretariat heckling whoever attempted to oppose the President.
While Mr Museveni defended his ministers accused of being corrupt, some MPs were accused of conniving with the opposition to paralyse government using the oil debate.
But chief petitioner Theodore Ssekikubo told the President that by usurping the powers of Parliament he was attempting to tinker with the Constitution whose framers were unequivocal on separation of powers. But in an infuriated response, the President reportedly warned that if the NRM Caucus refuses to grant him the power to proceed with the status quo, “his only option will be going back to the bush.”
In a heated exchange between the NRM Chairman and Mr Ssekikubo, as others banked, tabled and heckled, the President was tasked to explain whether by going back to the bush he will be seeking to “overthrow himself”.
As debate raged on, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi reportedly proposed that MPs return to House with a motion to annul what Parliament had agreed upon. But the President rejected this and instead asked the caucus to give him powers to sign new Production Sharing Agreements; a move Parliament stopped until oil laws are enacted.
“The President wanted to arm-twist us but we rejected that proposal in public interest and we broke ranks. We told him that the NRM Caucus is not Parliament but he refused. When we saw that some of our members were conniving with the President to hijack the independence of Parliament we walked out and we don’t have any regrets to make,” Mr Ssekikubo said.
Other MPs who walked out of the President are; Dr Chris Baryomunsi, Muhammad Nsereko, Wilfred Niwagaba, Henry Musasizi, Cerinah Nebanda and Barnabas Tinkasiimire.
Forms and Extent of Corruption in Uganda
By U4 Anti Corruption
Extent of Corruption
In 2006, President Yoweri Museveni announced a policy of zero-tolerance for corruption. However, at the beginning of Musevini’s third term following the first multi-party (but not entirely fair) elections, most governance indicators show that corruption is perceived as widespread and endemic at all levels of society. Global Integrity’s 2006 report on the country estimates that more than half the government’s annual budget is lost to corruption each year, amounting to USD 950 million.
Corruption scandals involving personalities close to those in power periodically hit the headlines. A former health minister and loyal supporter of the president, along with two deputies, have been charged with misappropriating USD 2 million from funds provided by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) in 2005.
More recently, in 2007, the government circumvented official procurement guidelines to contract an unknown company, Kenlloyd Logistics, to replenish Uganda’s fuel reserves. The company was being run by the sonin-law of the foreign minister, who is himself related to the president.
Public confidence in government officials is severely affected by such scandals. A majority of citizens surveyed for the 2005 Afro barometer perceived corruption to be rampant. In addition, 36% of respondents to the survey believed that most or all government officials - whether at the central or at the local level - were involved in corruption. (http://www.afrobarometer.org/uganda.htm).
Other empirical data corroborates this. The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Uganda at 126th place with a score of 2.6. Previous iterations of the index show that, despite slight improvements, the various sources of the CPI continue to perceive corruption as rampant and systemic in Uganda, with scores ranging from 2.1 to 2.8 between 2002 and 2007. (Please see: http://transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2008).
The World Bank’s 2007 Worldwide Governance Indicators note that Uganda performed moderately in terms of regulatory quality (48.5) and government effectiveness (42.7), below average in terms of rule of law (37.6), and voice and accountability (33.2) and weakly in terms of control of corruption (24.6 compared to 26.2 in 2003) and political stability (13.9). (Please see: http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi2007/sc_chart.asp).
Further surveys conducted in the past five years confirm these findings. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2008-09 identifies corruption as one of the major constraints for doing business in the country, after access to financing. (http://www.weforum.org/documents/GCR0809/index.ht
ml).The World Bank Investment Climate Assessment undertaken in 2004, corroborates this finding with 46.3% of small firms and 56.5 % of middle size firms identifying corruption as a major or severe constraint to doing business in the country.
Forms of corruption Bureaucratic Corruption
Bureaucratic and administrative forms of corruption are widespread in the Ugandan administration, with practices of bribery, nepotism, and misuse of official positions and resources. Government bureaucracy, complex regulatory procedures and red tape provide numerous opportunities for corruption and rent seeking.
The 2006 World Bank-IFC Enterprise Survey indicates that more than half of firms expect to make informal payments to public officials to get things done. 80% of companies report paying bribes and make on average more than 30 unofficial payments per year. (http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=193&year=2006). Firms typically make facilitation payments to speed-up bureaucratic processes, especially to obtain licences, construction permits and/or customs clearance, or to connect to phone lines and electricity supplies. Large and foreign companies appear to be the most vulnerable targets for bribe solicitation, paying close to 4% of their revenue in informal payments. (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTAFRSUMAFTP
Political patronage and favouritism further characterize the Ugandan administration, with NRM patronage systems reaching into the private sector. In local government bodies, giving jobs and contracts to relatives or supporters appears to be common practice. A 2006 Freedom House report denounces widespread patronage and corruption in government, with the exception of the public, health and education service commissions that are generally credited with making open, merit-based appointments. Even here, however, there have been recent cases of interference in the appointment of senior officials in the ministries of health and of education and sports.
In terms of political finance, the Freedom House report notes that regulations controlling influence over campaigns are not enforced effectively, with many instances of economic privileges given to investors. Although the government allocates USD 25,000 for campaign expenses to each presidential candidate, the ruling NRM party appears to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the system, receiving funds from both
private and public sources. During the 2004 elections, 35% of respondents to the Afro Barometer reported having been offered food or a gift in return for their vote.
Sectors Most Affected by Corruption
Corruption in Public Procurement
Public procurement is one of the sectors most affected by corruption in Uganda. According to the 2007 African Peer Review Mechanism Report, Uganda loses USD
258.6 million Annually through corruption and procurement malfeasance. The report further estimates that if the country could eliminate corruption in public procurement, it would save USD 15.2 million a year. In the assessment of the country’s Auditor General,
procurement accounts for 70% of public spending, of which an estimated 20% is lost via corruption. In June 2008, a senior World Bank official stated that high level corruption in procurement deals had been responsible for a loss of USD 300 million since 2005. He added that 70% of government contracts were not awarded according to established procedures, while half of the national budget is spent on procurement deals. (Please see the 2008 Global Integrity report: http://report.globalintegrity.org/Uganda/2008).
The US-Department of State Investment Climate Statements for 2009 also notes that government procurement is not transparent, particularly for defence items. In previous years, several high-profile government tenders for infrastructure projects were suspended due to allegations of corruption. (http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/rls/othr/ics/2009/index.htm).
The 2006 World Bank-IFC survey indicates that close to half of the firms questioned expect to give a gift to secure a government contract. Companies further report the gift value to amount to approximately more than 5% of the contract value. A baseline survey of National Public Procurement Integrity conducted in 2006 by the Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA), the Inspectorate of Government
(IGG) and USAID reports that illegal payments to secure government contract at both the local and the central levels are even higher, representing approximately 7 to 9% of the contract value. The survey further estimates that direct losses due to corruption in procurement - at both the central and the local levels – amounted to between USD 64-85 million in 2004-2005.
The majority of respondents identified the secretary to the Tender Board and Tender Board members as being most corrupt. (http://www.ppda.go.ug/downloads/Integrity%20survey%20FINAL%20REPORT%202007.pdf).
The PPDA, IGG and USAID survey identifies the lack of effective reporting systems, poor record management by state organs, the weakness of the judiciary, the poor investigation of corruption cases, and the lack of effective systems to punish corrupt officials, as majors factors contributing to the high prevalence of corruption in public procurement.
Corruption in Tax Administration
Uganda undertook a major reform of its tax administration system with the formation of a semiautonomous revenue authority, the Uganda Revenue Authority, in 1991. Surveys indicate that corruption is on the rise in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), with instances of political interference, patronage and corruption at managerial level. There also seems to be an increase in the number of tax collectors openly demanding bribes in their dealings with tax payers. A 2005 CMI report on corruption in tax administration
indicates that 43% of firms report occasionally or always paying bribes to tax officers. 84% of respondents to the 2005 Afro Barometer believe that tax officials are involved in corruption. In 2003, five senior officers attached to the Large Taxpayer Department were involved in a major corruption scandal. A Commission of Inquiry of Corruption in the URA was appointed by the government in the same year due to serious allegations of underestimated or misstated declarations in customs, as well as collaboration between tax payers and URA staff. The Commission released a much delayed and debated report two years later whose legality was questioned by Members of Parliament. The report was ultimately nullified by the High Court.
Corruption in the Police
The police are perceived as one of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, particularly traffic police. 91% of respondents to the 2005 Afro Barometer believe that the police are involved in corruption, while 67% think that most or all police officials are involved in corruption. Few (about 17%) actually report having paid a bribe to avoid a problem with the police. According to the 2006 Global Integrity report mentioned above, political interference in police-work is commonplace, with high profile cases sometimes
dropped following political pressure. Investigations of police corruption have increased under the leadership of a new police chief appointed in 2005. He has, however, faced internal criticism and has received several death threats. (http://www.business-anticorruption.com/en/country-profiles/sub-saharanafrica/uganda/background-information/).
According to Freedom House 2006 and 2008, the executive does not guarantee the independence of the judiciary and there have been instances of intimidation of the judiciary. In 2005, heavily armed soldiers surrounded the High Court in an attempt to courtmartial civilians involved in allegations of treason. Concerns about judicial independence were reinforced by security forces’ intervention in a politically sensitive trial in 2007. Judges subsequently went on strike to protest against the invasion of the courts by security forces, and the East African Court of Justice found Uganda guilty of violating the rule of law and the rights of its citizens by allowing the military to repeatedly interfere with court processes. The Uganda Law Society noted that this episode reflected a broader problem of government officials refusing to comply with certain judicial actions.
A Bertelsmann Foundation report from 2008
reveals that the upper levels of the judiciary demonstrate high standards of professionalism and independence. The administration of justice is undermined, however, by a lack of resources, skills and capacity at the lower levels of the judiciary.
According to the 2005 Afro Barometer, 73% of citizens think judges and magistrates are involved in corruption, while the vast majority of citizens believe high level officials are significantly less likely to be held accountable for serious crimes than ordinary members of the public. The US-Investment Climate Statement 2009 confirms these perceptions, reporting that several high-profile government corruption scandals have, in recent years, resulted in few or no sanctions against the officials involved. A significant
number of the companies surveyed for the 2006 Word Bank and IFC Enterprise Survey do not believe Uganda’s courts to be fair, impartial and uncorrupted.