By John Kabagambe
According to a report compiled by the State House Anti-corruption unit (SH-ACU) headed by Brig. Gen Isoke for the year ending 2022, the unit managed to recover a whopping Ugx 35bn from thieves that stole public funds.
The report shows that in 2022, State House Anti-corruption Unit arraigned in court over 448 suspects, out of which 70 were convicted. Bravo to Brig Gen Isoke and team for a job well done, you would say, but guess what, Brig Gen Isoke actually equates the monster of corruption in Uganda, to an elephant or a whale. It’s so huge and according to him, so far, anti-corruption efforts are only “touching the ear” of this monster figuratively speaking, but you get the picture.
Imagine that, if recovering Ugx 35bn in a year, is “merely touching the ear of this monster” how much would be recovered in a year if there is collective effort by all agencies, government departments, security organs, all leaders at all levels, including civil society and private whistleblowers? After all, according to an old adage, you need to Marshall a whole village to wrestle a whale, don’t you?
It is clear that hundreds of billions of public funds are stolen and washed down the drain! Public funds which would otherwise have developed this country and made visible impact, in many crucial areas.
The analogy of the whale or the elephant clearly lays bare the fact that, Brig Gen Isoke can’t do it alone but needs all patriotic Ugandans on board to expose, fight and redeem this country from the york and clutches of runaway looting, corruption and shameless theft of our precious meager public resources, so get on board to expose corruption.
Aside from corruption, the Unit helped to expose ”Pastor” Sirajje Ssemanda’s thuggery where the latter (in cahoots with lawyer Arinaitwe Jimmy) conned over 5000 victims and 400 private school owners and parents of vulnerable children, of a total of Ugx 405m.
In this bogus scam, the duo promised to get their victims scholarships, trips abroad and connections to operation wealth creation.
The thieving duo ‘Pastor’ Sirajje Ssemanda and Arinaitwe Jimmy) whose church (Revival church, Bombo) is located in Bombo town-Luweero district, were convicted by Her Worship Gladys Kamasanyu who sentenced them to two and a half years in prison.
Elsewhere, a one Ssemakula Sulaiti was booked for malicious damage to the property of a 99-year old Namazzi Hellena, a resident of Bulooli zone in Namugongo in a botched land grabbing scam, while Lira district staff surveyors namely; Opio Francis and Atoo Rebecca, were arrested and charged with fraudulent procurement of a title on government land, conspiracy to commit a felony as well as abuse of office.
Meanwhile SH-ACU is cramping down heavily on land fraud. So far, 24 ministry of lands officials from over 20 districts have been arrested and charged. These include, senior land registrars, physical planners, secretaries of district land boards, surveyors, cartographers, and two prominent land grabbers namely; Kyagaba Charles and Mafumu Paul.
The writer is a Lawyer