“Head of the State House Anti Corruption Unit Col Edith Nakalema confirms the arrest of four officials from the Prime minister’s Office for inflating prices of maize flour and rice that were to be distributed to those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak”: https://www.facebook.com/169252986456497/posts/2935500593165042/
That’s what is making headlines in Uganda today, Thursday, April 9. It’s very heartbreaking to see that leaders take advantage of such a crisis to amass wealth through corruption. Several big corruption scandals involving up to hundreds of billions of shillings have been reported over the years, but none of those convicted has ever returned the money or served a serious sentence in prison. These have always come up in national projects like road construction, procurement of government property, government payroll (gost accounts), and many others.
The government of Uganda is distributing food relief to families that are poor and cannot afford to have food in such times. The activity is in its fourth day today and thousands of families in Kampala and Wakiso have been covered. Government (Prime Minister’s office) went on to distribute the food despite disapproval from parliament. The government announced its inability to supply food to the whole country due to lack of funds, and the parliament wanted an explanation of what plan the government had for the rest of the country.
Several individuals and companies have given donations of money, food, vehicles, and other items worth billions of Uganda shillings. The Kabaka (King) of Buganda, the central part of Uganda that includes Kampala city, donated 100 million shillings, just like other several businessmen and a local church (House of Prayer Ministries International). It’s a campaign that has brought cooperation from people and organizations to give hope to the vulnerable.
The recrudescence of corruption on the face of the nation at such a time is a possible huge blow to the givers’ morale. It breaks so many people’s hearts. It smothers the hope of people whose national health care system is underfunded and visibly unable to handle what we see on the news from developed nations. Right now, with the total number of confirmed cases standing at 53, health workers do not have PPE and some are threatening a stay home strike if the problem is not addressed. Several departments of government including security have tabled huge budgets that are purportedly meant to fight coronavirus. Clearly, they’re not relevant in this situation.
No one wants to give away their hard-earned money to such a waste. The spirit of corruption in underdeveloped countries has to be broken if they’re ever going to develop. The main cause could be the overstaying of leaders in power, something that makes them focus on securing their positions other than true governance. Let’s pray for the world to stand together and for God to use our leaders as He wants to build His Kingdom.