Community fear to report corruption cases cripples the fight against the vice

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni leads a walk against corruption in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday.

(Photo credit: VOA by Athumani Halima

The Hoima district LC 5 vice chairperson, Frederick Kakoraki, has attributed the rampant corruption in the country to people’s fear of reporting the evil to relevant authorities.

Speaking during a half-day consultative meeting at Kolping Hotel in Hoima, Kakoraki observed that despite community sensitisation and encouragement to report corruption cases, majority fear to take the mantle because the crime is committed by people they are acquainted with.

“Often times we have had a scenario where a person fears to report a corrupt person because they know them and therefore, fear to be criticised by the culprits’ families for revealing their relatives as corrupt. This leaves criminals to walk Scot-free as society morals continue decaying.”

Kakoraki encouraged people to bring to limelight anybody who indulges in fraudulent acts so that they can be apprehended, arraigned and prosecuted in court. He said this would serve as a deterrent to others.

Addressing the same participants on Tuesday, the Hoima District Police Commander (DPC), SP Martin Okoyo blamed the public for allegedly luring police officers into corruption.

He said both members of the public and the police were liable for the ongoing graft in the country.

“Where there is a female prostitute, there is also a male prostitute. Members of the public tempt police officers into bribery. Relatives of suspects insistently tell police officers how financially ready they are to help out their relatives even though the officer has not asked for anything,” Okoyo said.

“When a traffic police officer stops a vehicle to inform the driver of the bad road ahead, the driver instead comes out of the vehicle to bribe the officer for their excessive loading. The driver does this even before knowing why the police officer has stopped him,” the DPC added.

Agnes Mwanja, a board member of Transparency International Uganda, (TIU)-organisers of the meeting encourged the public to always report corruption cases to anti-graft agencies and organisations including the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the police Child and Family Protection Units and others.

She said anti-corruption establishments maintain a high level of confidentiality to the whistleblowers in order to shield the source and catch the evildoer.

However, Mwanja told the participants that corruption should not be measured in monetary terms alone. She said the vice stretches as far as concealing defilement and rape cases among others.

“Corruption occupies a far-reaching area. Any act that abuses human rights is corruption that must be fought without fear. Whenever a person obscures any human rights abuses including domestic violence, rape, defilement and others, he is abetting corruption”, she said.

Closing the meeting, the Hoima deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Richard Tabaro observed that graft begins with parents. He said unaware of their act, some parents train their children to be corrupt.

“When a parent is away and tells their children to help in a business by tampering with weights and measures to get more profits, it marks the beginning of training them to be corrupt. It is better to start telling them to run away from corruption now such that in 50 years to come, Uganda may be free from the monster”.

The meeting took place ahead of President Yoweri Museveni leading a walk against corruption on Wednesday.

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