Friday, August 31, 2012


Ugandans can better focus on Muntu as an option to fight corruption and other vices of the Museveni era ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Friday, 31 August 2012 00:45 Written by Hussein Bogere Uganda has once again emerged the country with the highest levels of bribery in East Africa, according to the East African Bribery Index 2012, a survey by Transparency International. The survey report, launched in Kampala yesterday, also showed the Uganda Police on top of the list of bribery-prone institutions. The judiciary and land services follow in that order. Carried out in the five east African countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the survey revealed that, at 40.7%, Uganda has the highest bribery levels in the region, followed by Tanzania (39.1%), Kenya (29.5%), Burundi (18.8%) and Rwanda (2.5%). The findings are particularly disturbing because they show that the situation in Uganda is not improving. Last year, Uganda polled at 38%. What is more, the respondents (1449) drawn from central, eastern, northern and western Uganda strongly believe that bribery levels will increase in the coming years. What the results from Uganda mean is that bribery will gravely add to the cost of doing business, which in turn affects production. At a regional level, bribery will adversely affect trade between nations with countries. There is, therefore, need to address the issue. On the current state of corruption, 82% of respondents observed that corruption levels either remained as bad or increased in the last one year. The biggest reasons given for this trend were the lack of political will to fight the vice and the fact that government officials in Uganda are too corrupt to effectively fight corruption. The trend, Patrick Kayemba of Transparency International Uganda Chapter said, is worrying. “We are worse off than we were one year ago in spite of having the best anti-corruption institutions in the region. This trend is very, very worrying. We need to ask ourselves, what is happening?” Findings The police (85) and judiciary (44) ranked the two top most bribery-prone institutions in Uganda followed by Tax services (32.5) land services (26.9) registry and licensing services (23.2), city and local councils (21.8), medical services (20.7) and educational institutions (16.5). Of particular concern is the rise in the probability of a service seeker being required to pay a bribe upon interaction (69.5% in 2010 and 74.1% in 2011). The police were followed by city and local councils (54.3%), judiciary (49.6%), registry and licensing services (46.1%) and land services (46%). The findings, however, drew sharp criticism from the Commandant of the Police Professional Standards Unit. “Those people claiming the police are corrupt are the corrupt ones. Do you think you are being sincere? You are trivializing the issue of corruption. To talk about police but you never ask how much it is paid,” Samuel Kyomukama said. Most of the respondents said they believed bribery solicitation was highest in the judiciary and councils, although those sectors registered the lowest actual payments. The report, however, says the outcome of the police was consistent for the two indicators (48.2%) followed by tax services (40.6) and registry and licensing services (34%). Asked whether they would have received the services if they had failed to pay a bribe, half of the respondents who paid the bribes believed that was the only way to access services from police (54%), tax services (46.5%), land services (40.5%), registry and licensing services (39.6%) and judiciary (36.6%). In terms of the average size of the bribe, the judiciary topped (Shs 594,137) followed by land services (Shs 235,259), tax services (Shs 115,500), police (Shs 105,512) and education institutions (Shs 75,322). It is a change from 2010 and 2011 where the police, local authorities and Uganda Revenue Authority topped. Uganda reported the lowest rate of corruption cases simply because 34.1% of the respondents knew no action would be take even if reported, 17.6% fear intimidation, while 12.8% fear to self-incriminate. Three of every four people interviewed are likely not to report bribery in future because almost half of the reports on corruption don’t get acted upon. The reasons aren’t any different from those cited in the previous years. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why Muntu has overtaken Mafabi Top Stories Friday, 31 August 2012 01:11 Written by Edris Kiggundu 4 Comments E-mail Print PDF [SEEING VICTORY? Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu is currently in the lead] SEEING VICTORY? Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu is currently in the lead If elections for the presidency of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were held today, the largest number of delegates would vote for Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, the Secretary for Mobilisation. A new poll reveals that 46.9% of delegates would choose Muntu. This would put him comfortably ahead of his major opponent, Nandala Mafabi, the leader of the Opposition who was favoured by 25.7% of the respondents. The third contender, Geoffrey Ekanya, managed a paltry 0.6% according to the poll, which reinforces the fact that the race is a two-horse affair. Research World International (RWI), an independent research company, carried out the poll between August 23 and August 29. The total sample was 335 delegates out of a total of 900 delegates who are expected to vote on November 22, 2012. While the results of the poll could give an indicator on how the race could eventually turn out, the sampled figure (335) represents only 41% of the total party delegates. This means that the views of the majority of the delegates (59%) are yet to be sought and therefore no concrete conclusion as to who will win the race can be reached yet. In any case, a significant number of respondents (26%) said they were still undecided, meaning there is still a lot to fight for. Of the 335 delegates interviewed, 102 are from western Uganda, 96 from Eastern Uganda, 64 from the Northern region and 73 from Central Uganda. Sampled delegates said Muntu is a hardworking, dedicated and principled leader. He has the ability to attract NRM supporters to FDC, and having worked with President Museveni, knows his tricks. Muntu was army commander from 1989 to 1998. “He has a character that attracts people to the party,” said a delegate from central region according to the survey questionnaire which contained eight questions. Dr Patrick Wakida, the Chief Executive Officer of RWI, said the aim of the poll was to assess the opinions of the FDC delegates about the ongoing party primaries to choose the leader of FDC. “This is a significant moment in the history of the party and people would like to know who among the candidates is best suited to replace Besigye,” Wakida said. Those who said they would vote for Mafabi said he is an excellent mobiliser, hardworking and strong hearted. They also described him as an effective fighter against corruption. In a sign that ethnicity could be an issue in determining the next FDC leader, some delegates said they would vote for Mafabi because his leadership of the party would represent “a change from westerners.” The few who said they would vote for Ekanya described him as “young and energetic.” According to the poll, Muntu leads Mafabi across all the four regions, including the East where it has been thought that the Budadiri West legislator holds sway. Muntu registered 47% support in central, 45% in east, 44% in northern and 51% support in western Uganda. Mafabi on the other hand got 29% support in central, 34% in east, 22% in north and 18% in western Uganda. Similarly, more males (48%) and females (46%) said they would vote for Muntu compared to Mafabi. Heated contest? The survey contrasts sharply with the outcome of another poll, conducted in April, which showed that Muntu and Mafabi were running neck and neck. The earlier survey, which sampled 1,000 respondents –– not necessarily delegates –– revealed that 25% of the respondents said they would vote for Mafabi while 23% settled for Muntu. The same poll showed that each of the two favoured candidates led the other in regions where they hail from (Mafabi in the east and Muntu in the west). In the same vein, a sizeable percentage of the respondents (29%) were still undecided. So, taken on the surface, the latest poll suggests a number of things. Firstly, the race might not be as close as had been anticipated since Muntu enjoys a clear margin. Secondly, it shows that Mafabi’s support has remained static between April and today. Margaret Wokuri, a key strategist for Team Mafabi yesterday told The Observer that the poll was lacking in several aspects. “In research I would be more interested in analysis but when you look at this poll there is something that was hurried about it. It has no conclusion and most of the data is not analyzed. What were the underlying objectives of commissioning the research?” she queried. Nonetheless, she said, Team Mafabi would use the information from the poll to examine their candidate’s weaknesses and find ways of turning them into strengths. Yet whatever one makes of the Muntu vs Mafabi duel, it has already generated a lot of excitement and anxiety with some bitter words exchanged. The new poll confirms that many delegates are finding it difficult to make a choice between the two candidates, leaving many undecided (26%). “They are all good,” one delegate said. Another said that while Muntu is not a good mobiliser, he is a better public speaker than Mafabi. It is Ekanya who received the harshest criticism. “He [Ekanya] is unserious,” one respondent said. Currently all the candidates are traversing the country canvassing for votes among the delegates.

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