It was walk to work yesterday as hundreds of people commuting from different parts of the country walked for kilometres into the city centre.
This followed the Police’s blocking of all major roads leading to the city centre to pave way for a smooth national anti-corruption walk.
The 2014 Kampala’s daytime population was at four million while its resident population was at 1.5 million people, according to the National Population and Housing Census. The dominantly VIP procession led by President Yoweri Museveni started at the Constitution Square at 8:32 am and ended at 9:20 am at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
It was organized by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), led by Lt. Col Edith Nakalema. At his age (75), Museveni’s fast pace left many of the walkers shocked, as many were seen panting and struggling to catch up. Some of the participants were heard saying: “ Mzee Alina stamina,” literally meaning, “ Mzee is fit.”
The walkers, who also included the Vice- President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, joined the procession.
The President attributed failure to fight corruption to lack of integrity among officers charged with fighting graft.
He cited officers in agencies, such as Inspectorate of Government (IG), SHACU and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Museveni attacked URA, SHACU, and IGG for having corrupt officers, saying he would deal with them once he gathers enough evidence.
“I monitored your groups. The ones who bribe your people come and tell me. I know those who are corrupt. If I have not arrested you, do not think you are safe, I am still gathering evidence.
“The laws are in place, but the problem is with implementation and I think the mistake was in the recruitment in the office of the IGG and even Nakalema’s office and URA. Do not recruit people on the basis of paper qualifications, but recruit people on the basis of integrity,” Museveni said.
He said the Judiciary, Judicial Service Commission, army, among other institutions could recruit people according to their qualifications. Museveni said what has been lacking in the units like the Police is supervision and cited a case in which more than six girls are accusing the director of Wamala Mixed Secondary School, Asadu Wamala of sexually abusing and defiling them.
In that case, Museveni said parents of the victims reported to the Police a case of defilement, but they instead wrote indecent assault and the director was released on bail.
“I read the story in the newspaper and I contacted my special force unit to follow it up. Why doesn’t the head of departments follow up such issues? Why don’t District Internal Security Officers know the corruption in their sub-county, schools, and health centres?” Museveni asked.
Corruption a moral, spiritual problem
The President also rallied Ugandan leaders to intensify efforts in the fight against corruption, saying the vice is a moral, spiritual and material problem.
“It is a moral problem because you make yourself a parasite. Corrupt people are parasites because they get wealth, which they did not earn,” he said.
“In the last 60 years, I have been watching and I have not seen corrupt people being successful sustainably,” he said.
“I have never stolen anything from anybody, but I am rich,” Museveni said.
He urged political leaders to drive the economy to ensure more people are employed, thus reducing the temptation of being corrupt.
“We must support the expansion of these four of our grandparents, the corrupt are our society that we live in. We are all corrupt,” he said.