WILFRED ARINDA NSHEEKA; Exposing Corruption: Why Uganda Needs More Than Social Media Shaming

Three months ago, a dark truth emerged from Rubanda district. A high-ranking official, entrusted with public funds, allegedly orchestrated a symphony of deceit. Documents – supplier signatures, delivery notes, receipts – were meticulously manipulated to siphon off a staggering 21 million shillings. But the music didn’t stop there. A deeper audit revealed a hidden encore: another 122 million shillings vanished into thin air, spent on phantom activities.

These funds, meant to empower farmers with irrigation systems and apiary equipment, never materialized. Dreams of agricultural transformation were extinguished by a web of lies. Yet, despite the mounting evidence, the alleged culprit enjoyed a shockingly smooth exit. Released on bond, he vanished from police custody, leaving a trail of unanswered questions behind.

The district council, understandably outraged, pressured the Chief Administrative Officer to act. Finally, an interdiction – a suspension from duty – was issued. But the audacity continued. The accused official, in a bizarre midnight escapade, reappeared at the district office, delivering some equipment (the legitimacy of which remains unverified) under the cloak of darkness. No witnesses. No accountability.

To date, this blatant disregard for the law has gone unpunished. No court appearances. No consequences. This isn’t just a Rubanda story; it’s a Ugandan epidemic. Anti-corruption agencies, seemingly rendered toothless, stand by as millions disappear. Public trust erodes with every unanswered question. We, the citizens, deserve institutions that champion transparency and integrity, not secrecy and impunity.

Enter the #UgandaParliamentExhibition campaign, a social media outcry exposing the alleged mismanagement of parliament. Billions, according to online investigations, have been hemorrhaged through Parliament’s halls. The silence from anti-corruption agencies is deafening.

The accused, instead of addressing the accusations, deflect with tired narratives. They claim persecution for passing the Anti-Homosexuality Law, a desperate attempt to shift focus from the alleged financial malfeasance. Their very deflection is an admission of guilt. Misappropriation, irregular recruitment – these are not badges of honor. These are acts deserving of immediate resignation.

If billions pilfered from parliament elicit no official response, how can we expect action on millions stolen in Rubanda? In a nation truly committed to fighting corruption, the halls of power wouldn’t shelter the accused, they would be filled with the sounds of justice. Leaders of integrity would resign to allow for fair investigations, not cling to power with a death grip.

But in today’s Uganda, social media might be our only weapon. We are forced to “shame” them into accountability, a meager substitute for a robust anti-corruption system.  The current political climate stifles the voices of activists, making it an uphill battle for them to expose the rot.

Parliament’s credibility lies in tatters. Its leadership, shrouded in suspicion, has failed the nation. Resignation is not enough. We demand a thorough investigation, one that sheds light on the truth and paves the way for a future free from corruption. The public deserves to know.

This isn’t just about stolen shillings; it’s about the erosion of a nation’s soul. We, the citizens of Uganda, demand better. We demand leaders worthy of our trust. We demand a system that punishes the corrupt, not protects them. The fight for a corruption-free Uganda continues, and social media may be our megaphone for now, but our voices will not be silenced.
Hats off to the visionaries and all individuals actively engaged in the #UgandaParliamentExhibition campaign. Their dedication and commitment to shedding light on the issues plaguing our parliamentary system are commendable.

The writer is the LC5 Male Youth Councillor for Rubanda District.
Email. wilfredarinda@gmail.com