Civil society pushes for witness protection in fight against corruption

By Deo Wasswa

Discrediting the work of the state house anti corruption unit has remained one of the major challenges to the unit as it continues to execute it’s mandate of curbing corruption in the country.

The remarks were made by the head of state house anti-Corruption unite Col. Edith Nakalema while giving a keynote speech at the 9th anti-Corruption convention that convened in Kampala.

According to her, once corrupt officials fail to bribe investigators,they resort to discrediting the unit’s work.

She also says the unit has continued to receive complaints from communities of people who go there pretending they are coming from state house anti -Corruption unit and intimidate them.

Nakalema said that as the unit makes two years in existence soon, it has made some tremendous achievements which include, recovering UGX 24.5 billion from cases investigated, 248 culprits have been arrested and arraigned in courts of law, 24 convicted and sentenced among other achievements.

In the same meeting, anti -Corruption activists say the absence of whistle blower’s Fund in the country has continued to affect the fight against corruption.

Peter Wandera, the executive director of Transparency international Uganda says, the absence of this fund to facilitate those willing to report and track the corruption related cases has remained a major challenge.

According to him, with current situation where there is even no witness protection law, it has also continued to to pose risk to lives of whistle blowers.

He says it is high time the government, civil society and anti corruption agencies to think of putting an active an whistle blowers fund to tackle the matter.

The two day convention convened by Action aid Uganda in partnership with anti corruption coalition Uganda, and transparency international Uganda is running under the theme “Promoting social accountability through active citizenry”.