As Uganda joins the world in remembering those who have died due to HIV/AIDS, it is of utmost importance that those concerned more so in the judicial service take extra measures in dealing with the corrupt and more so, ensuring that funds stolen are recovered to help among others the people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.
I am one of those who are not amused to see the former Vice President of Uganda contesting for the Busiro North Parliamentary Seat. This I say on two grounds: Mr. Bukenya Chaired the Cabinet Sub – Committee and his statement as indicated below is self explanatory. He is qualified to stand up for the role he played which led the country to a loss of substantial amounts of money. Some of this money could have helped the people who are affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.
9.1.18 During the 16th Meeting of the Cabinet Sub Committee held on 4th December 2006, the Chairman, H.E. the Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya stated that "The decision on Transport that was taken during the 15th Cabinet Sub Committee on CHOGM was final...All other companies that were coming up with proposals should not be considered.
2ndly, it is common knowledge that one of the biggest irregularities of the 2011 General Elections was the role of voter bribery. Bukenya is contesting in the by election after the courts of law were convinced beyond reasonable doubt that he bribed voters. Uganda is having a constantly depreciating currency, and much of this is attributed to monies poured into the economy to bribe the voters! It is also true that the by election is costing the country money which would have gone on to some other budget say the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS. It is absurd, but anyway, it is Uganda.
On August 24, 2005, after Uganda had got only 12.26% of what it was entitled to from the Global Fund Grants to combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis; that is US$45million out of US$367million, the Global Fund decided to suspend grants to Uganda. This is corruption which hits the victims (those who would benefit from the facility), but what is unfortunate is how we keep praising this type of corrupt people. The moment we as a country get to appreciate the role of corruption, and fight it, we shall have a destiny.
As we remember of brothers and sisters who have been claimed by HIV/AIDS and also express sympathy to those of us who have been diagnosed HIV positive and are on treatment, we must get much more concerned about those relatives and more so, the grand mothers who care for the orphaned children left behind by their dead parents. These need our assistance, and as a nation we ought to come up with some 10% of our earnings or even a bigger fraction to see these children accorded decent lives. A one Benedict Nakayima had her photo in New vision as she sat by the graveside of her children who died of AIDS and left her in charge of 45 grand children! This is the dimension of HIV/AIDS to some households.
The Global Integrity 2006 report on Uganda, it is estimated that more than half the Government’s annual budget amounting to USD 950million each year is lost to corruption. As would be expected, public procurement is one of the sectors most affected by corruption. 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 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. In summary, Uganda has a challenge to see to it that corruption is not given chance to thrive as it worsens the HIV/AIDS situation. The funds which are eaten by the corrupt can go a long way in bailing those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.