I salute you H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
A deluge of various corruption-related news and scandals have recently rocked our country Uganda and this has not begun today. It is a part of Uganda’s contemporary history from way back before you took the leadership mantle of this great country in 1986. For starters your Excellency, I would like to acknowledge and applaud your relentless effort in setting up various fronts to fight corruption in the country.
However, corruption scandals keep coming up every other day where the “small fish” continue to be fried whereas the so-called “big fish” are never brought to book. This is my biggest concern and similarly, the biggest concern of many Ugandans, most especially the youth out there in as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.
Young people across the world continue to name corruption as the biggest impediment they face in the course of self-development, according to a survey carried out by Accountability Lab in conjunction with the World Economic Forum.
In Uganda’s case, public funds that should have otherwise paid for Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure and other basic services are swindled by the corrupt. Businesses and individuals mostly the poor pay millions of shillings in bribes every year which undermines trust, exacerbates inequality and severs the social contract.
From my point of view Mr. President,I see plenty of reasons to believe that 2021 will be a year in which young people turn the tide against this lack of integrity and accountability that’s to say a new generation of change-makers putting anti-corruption and accountability firmly at the centre of their understanding of leadership across business, politics, media and civil society.
In government, a new generation of politicians and bureaucrats are emerging, pushing for more inclusive, transparent decision-making. We have seen this among many raising young politicians both in NRM and the opposition. The trend is, in fact, a global one. In Botswana for instance, 32-year-old Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo is pushing back against unfair business practices. During the recent global Integrity Idol campaign to “name and fame” honest bureaucrats, they found hundreds of young, honest civil servants doing everything from fighting corruption in police to ensuring fair justice at the local level.
Your Excellency, in the media fraternity, the ability of youth activists to set up a national and global accountability agenda is growing rapidly and it is good for our dear country Uganda, Africa and the world at large. Young people are creating news checking sites to combat fake news? Has it been brought to your attention that many bloggers are pushing for decision-making based on openness and honesty?
Mr President, as I conclude, all Ugandans agree that corruption remains one of the largest impediments to Uganda’s Economic and Political progress but there is a new generation finding creative, collective ways to fight corruption and that group ought to be supported by government in all possible ways most especially by effecting an open government policy and guaranteeing safety to the whistle-blowers.
In a nutshell, my humble prayer to your Excellency is that you work more closely with the youth because they have understood the dynamics of the new era and many are committed to fostering a better Uganda that is suitable for the next generation.
Musinguzi Laban Joshua
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.