Museveni: Corrupt officials are not happy
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said government officials stealing government money will not find happiness in their riches as the rest of the society struggles to get a living.
Museveni, who was opening the 9th commonwealth anti-corruption heads of agencies conference at Lake Victoria Serena Hotel on Monday, said it there was evidence that the corrupt rich are not happy.
“When we noticed the dangers corruption posed, we created new laws, new institutions like IGG, to fight the vice. But over time, the fire in them burnt out. Most likely they were infiltrated. I have to stoke the fire with new watchmen like the Anti-Corruption Unit,” Museveni said.
“As you steal public resources you must ask, can you as an individual solve these human problems or sustainably remain prosperous when everyone else is poor? It is not possible. The prosperity of a few cannot be sustainable,” he added.
Museveni’s message is akin to the common adage that “the poor cannot sleep, because they are hungry and the rich cannot sleep because the poor are awake” used mainly to refer to the grave danger of inequality and corruption that take away social services from the poor and concentrate riches in the hands of the few.
The Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja said corruption was secretive and complex practice, which makes the need for collaboration with other common wealth countries more important.
Locally, she stressed the intention to publish declarations and invite the public to give more information on suspicious assets.
Mulyagonja said they have been receiving complaints about leaders’ declaration. This has encouraged the inspectorate put up lists of leaders and ask the public what they know about these people.
Museveni said he had appointed anti-corruption unit in State House to supplement on what the current IGG is doing but also to watch over the latter since it had been infiltrated by the corrupt.
The Ugandan conference was attended delegates from sixteen countries, including Botswana, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mauritius, Lesotho among others.
Last year, the conference took place in Abuja, Nigeria. And it will move to Rwanda in 2020.
Uganda ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world in the Transparency International index.