After a fun and interesting morning Reach Out Mbuya learning about microfinance in Uganda, our afternoon was spent in the office of the IG (Inspectorate of Government). A short walk from Big Blue our trusty bus, a waiting room, and six flights of stairs later, we were finally ready to meet with the IGG (Inspector General Government). To our surprise, we did not meeting with the IGG, but rather with Mr. Kiiza Adrian, the Director for Education and Prevention of Corruption at the IG.
To give some background on the role of the IG is to lead the fight against corruption in Uganda. The motto is “Zero Tolerance to Corruption”. This motto is put to work in the IG, as they claim to put the Ugandan population over the government. Another factor that the IG pushed during the meeting was that transparency was key when dealing with corruption. The powers of the IG were outlined in the 1995 Ugandan constitution. Article 225 outlined the role of the IG in government. It also stated that the IG would be autonomous, that no person in government should have power to direct the IG.
In the beginning of our seminar, everything seemed to be going well. There was a lot of humor, and I was under the assumption that I was going to be interested the entire time. Little did I know that things were going to take a turn from the path we started on. It seemed that Mr. Kiiza was just reading from a script. The speech that he did give, was very dry, when students did raise questions, the questions seemed to be dismissed. The talk seemed more of a history lesson rather than an informative discussion.
The thing I realized throughout the talk was that there seems to be a disconnect between what is being said in government, and what is actually being done. Mr. Kiiza did raise the point that legislation like the Special Powers Act of 2002, and the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009 had been passed that had been passed. These acts are a step in the right direction in the fight against corruption, but there is still a massive amount of corruption in Uganda. According to Transparency International, Uganda has a three out of ten, which is not good. The thing that I do not understand is how can a nation can have an office that is directly dedicated to fighting corruption, and still have corruption in so many aspects of Ugandan society.
Given everything that that we have seen and learned in the past two weeks, I have a few questions for my fellow students.
11. Do you think that the current government regime in Uganda is conducive to a corruption free society?
22. Do you think that the Office of the IG is an effective office in Uganda?