UCU Launches Anti-Corruption Coalition

By Lhwanzu Kitooke
“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)

anti corruption This scripture from Proverbs 29:2 is the force for the new Uganda Christian University (UCU) Anti-Corruption Coalition. It evolved on 29 October, 2018, at UCU’s main campus in Mukono during the five-day event organised by the Department of Public Administration and Governance under the theme: “Towards a more strategic partnership in the fight against corruption in Uganda.”

Uganda has long been ranked among most corrupt countries in the world as defined by dishonest acts such as fraud and bribery in the public sector. Earlier this year, the Berlin (Germany)-based Transparency International group released global corruption statistics for 180 countries, ranking Uganda among the most corrupt with 26 of 100 points. New Zealand was ranked the least corrupt in the world with 89 of 100 points.

Dennis Kakembo, a second-year UCU Law student designated to spearhead the coalition, said he is determined to fight corruption from the bottom up because “it starts with us.”

“We want to form a coalition that does not lie to people but rather brings facts on the table,” he said.

What are Uganda’s causes and solutions to corruption? Cissy Kagaba, the country’s Anti-Corruption Coalition’s executive director, asked the questions while offering support from her office.

Contrary to some beliefs, poverty is not the main cause of Uganda’s corruption, UCU students and leadership said. Lack of empowerment and dishonesty at any level are the primary reasons.

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“Poverty is just a force that places people in the position of need all the time,” according to Dr. Benon Musinguzi, the UCU Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) of Academic Affairs.

He cited student cheating of exams as a form of corruption. Being late for class is another, according to Cissy Kagaba.

Cissy Kagaba said that it won’t be easy for corruption to end in a country like Uganda if the people themselves are corrupt. She added, “We tend to forget and put the blame on government, but imagine a traffic officer stops you and immediately you pull out money to give him or her (to avoid a ticket) even when they did not ask for it, then you are corrupt.”

martinMartin Kizito, the Head of Department Public Administration and Governance at UCU commended the University for always engaging students in discussions that eventually shape their mindsets into greater people. “We are privileged that our students and graduates emulate the core values of the University diligence and integrity being among them,” he said.

“If the fight against corruption is to be a success especially amongst the growing youth, then other Universities should take up this initiative so that we can all stand up and fight for the same cause,” said Phillips Odwokacen, a Lecturer at UCU.

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