Uganda: Parliament renews commitment to fight corruption
Tayebwa said the institution is ready to deal with corrupt tendencies among its members, should they be found guilty as they discharge their duties
The Conference was organized by Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity chaired by Hon. James Nsaba Buturo
The Leadership of Parliament has renewed its commitment to the fight against corruption in what the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, referred to as ‘checking ourselves first’.
Tayebwa said the institution is ready to deal with corrupt tendencies among its members, should they be found guilty as they discharge their duties.
“As an institution, we have decided that even if it means exposing ourselves, we have to do it and correct the record. We cannot say we are Parliament, and so we cannot check ourselves,” said Tayebwa, adding, “If there are members involved in corruption through the budgeting process, through sitting on accountability reports, they are going to be exposed”.
Tayebwa, who was represented the First Lady, Janet Museveni, was officiating at the second national conference on Ethics and Morality held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Wednesday, 06 December 2023.
The Conference was organized by Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity chaired by Hon. James Nsaba Buturo.
Tayebwa commended the Forum for championing the efforts to restore morality in the society, a fight he said must be continuous.
“The fight for morality and ethics is the fight for renewal where you cannot say ‘I am now morally upright’, and then you sleep. I am happy that you have kept this fight, you have stood for a very justifiable cause, and I know history will judge you rightly,” he said.
Tayebwa observed that the fight against immorality resonates with Parliament’s oversight role which he said has been renewed starting with the institution itself.
“I recently went through reports of Parliament, and found out instances where an accountability committee overseeing 124 entities, has been handling only 10 entities for the last four years,” said Tayebwa.
He asked, “Why are the rest not touched, are they the fatty ones? Do you have special interests [why], you must go for Uganda National Roads Authority [and] Kampala Capital City Authority? What about the rest where the auditor general has raised pertinent and persistent questions?”
Tayebwa was concerned that the money lost through corruption could bridge the national budgetary deficits, giving an example of the recent media reports on money allocated to ‘ghost students.’
“If you did a thorough audit, I believe that money allocated to ghost students can sort out the gaps in funding. I saw police doing their audit, and I hope we can do it in the education sector,” he said.
Tayebwa delivered the First Lady’s speech, who called for promoting patriotism, a spirit she said would counter the growing culture of selfishness, dishonesty, and eventual corruption.
“Today, we live in an era where the culture of the end justifies the means seems to be the mantra for most Ugandans. Consequently, a society full of selfish and dishonest individuals, presents the next generation with the vicious cycle of moral degradation and corruption,” read Museveni’s speech.
Hon. Nsaba Buturo made a case for the need to restore ethics and morality, saying nations that are more developed have institutions influenced by ethics and morality.
“In more developed nations, the way of life of citizens as well as governance and institutions are richly informed by ethical and moral values. These have been molded for many years by education, culture, and uncompromising law enforcement regime and incorruptible institutions,” said Buturo Nsaba.
The keynote speaker, the Chancellor of Makerere University, Ezra Suruma, called for the inclusion of subjects on ethics and morality at all levels of education.
“In every school term and for all the 12 years of education, subjects on ethics and morality should be taught. They should be included in the national curriculum,” said Suruma.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.