ARUA.Locals in Arua district have been urged to embrace and take the fight against corruption as an individual responsibility.
Speaking during a meeting of opinion leaders and concerned citizens, Mr Emmanuel Kato, an official from Anticorruption Coalition Uganda said lack of professionalism from both individuals and institutions has created a notion that somebody will strongly support them against the law.
“Corruption scandals have always been reported but investigation processes have always ended up hanging due to political patronage and interference”, he said.
This was during a capacity building meeting organized by Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda in partnership with MAYANK Anti-Corruption Coalition (MACCO) to strengthen partnership for Anti-Corruption, Government Responsiveness and Citizen Engagement to enhance the fight against corruption in Uganda,
According to Mr Marlon Agaba, another official from Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, it is the responsibility of every one in Ugandan to fight corruption saying both citizens and non-citizens have the same responsibility in the fight against corruption.
“Uganda has reached a dangerous level of corruption called “Culturalisation” or “Normalization” of corruption where corruption has become a culture and a normal thing to practice, but citizens have the ability and responsibility to demand answers from their leaders”, Agaba said.
He urged the public to use legal frameworks such as the Constitution, the Anti-Corruption Act, the Leadership Code Act among others to enhance transparency and accountability.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of MAYANK Anti-Corruption Coalition, Mr Ernest Enzama called for corporation amongst different stake holders in the region to fight corruption. He said as a region, West Nile should double her efforts towards the fight against corruption if the region is to be at the same level of development with others.
Arua district Resident District Commissioner, Mr Festus Ayikobua said there is a great information gap that affects the effective investigation of cases of corruption by the police because most documentations get to the police when they are incomplete and becomes hard to fetch the reality to have an accusation forwarded to the courts of law.
Mr Micah Avubieng, the Police Community Liaison Officer for Arua district said “corruption is being committed against government funds, against the community and against human beings, therefore, whoever has embezzled community funds or funds that are meant to benefit the community should be arrested if the case is reported to police, investigated and subsequently prosecuted as laid down in the Anti-Corruption court”, Avubieng said.
He said one of the major challenges faced in prosecution of corruption cases is the delay by the community to report cases of corruption and people keeping quiet on matters of corruption until the suspect runs away.