World Bank Country Director Cautions on Corruption Fight

Kundhavi Kadiresan, the World Bank country representative to Uganda, says that several Ugandans are resigning to a state of hopelessness because of escalating corruption.

According to Kadiresan the implementation of the fight against corruption in Uganda is seriously lacking. She however appeals to Ugandans not to resign from fighting the vice but to redouble their momentum.

She was speaking yesterday at the launch of a new report developed by the Inspectorate of Government to help in fighting corruption. The report was developed by the office of the IGG with the research expertise of the Economic Policy Research Center at Makerere University.

Named the Data Tracking Mechanism, the tool will help monitor corruption trends in Uganda as well as improve on overall governance through providing an objective source of information for the reform process on corruption. The tool which will be produced annually will be accessed by the media, government officials, private organizations and donors.

The report, among other facts, reveals a low level of implementation of policies against corruption, a severe lack of citizens' participation on corruption and a poor access to useful information on corruption.

It reveals that the local government sub counties are among the most exploited levels by the corrupt. Kadiresan praised the tool as the first ever home-grown initiative but was quick to caution that tools alone will not fight corruption if not used.

She said that what is needed now in Uganda is to enforce all laws and policies put in place to fight corruption. Reacting to the tool, the Director of Public Prosecutions – DPP, Richard Butera said that this was the first initiative which is not just based on perception but real trends.

He was however quick to add that his office was not consulted by the researchers who developed the tool.

Corruption remains a major obstacle to poverty reduction and development in the country.

Recent reports and surveys on corruption show that Uganda is either static or reducing on its fight against corruption.

The reports point to procurement, service delivery in health, education and agricultural extension as some of the worst areas affected by corruption.

Uganda is said to lose up to 500 billion shillings annually through corruption.