Museveni: Investors bribe State House officials to meet me

President Museveni

Summary:

  • Ugandan President Museveni condemned corruption within his administration during his State of the Nation Address, revealing that even State House staff are implicated. He cited a recent arrest of a bribe-taking official and emphasized the need to tackle high interest rates and corruption in the Finance Ministry.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni condemned the pervasive corruption within the country, noting that even his staff at State House have been implicated. During his State of the Nation Address at Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala, Museveni, who has been in power for nearly four decades, revealed that some employees accept bribes to arrange meetings with him. He mentioned a recent arrest of an official accused of extorting money from an investor, with the case now in court.

Museveni highlighted that corruption costs Uganda at least Shs1 million every hour, according to the Inspector General of Government (IGG). He emphasized that foreign investors, seeking to engage in various sectors of the economy, are often the victims of this corruption. The president also instructed the Ministry of Finance to address the high interest rates charged by money lenders to stimulate investment, acknowledging that corruption has infiltrated the Finance Ministry as well.

“I have proof that individuals from the Finance Ministry collude with accounting officers of Ministries to secure funds from Parliament, provided they receive a cut. We are going to crush them. I will not grant them amnesty,” Museveni declared, receiving applause from MPs of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). Opposition legislators, led by Joel Ssenyonyi, boycotted the session, criticizing Museveni’s long tenure and perceived inaction against corruption.

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Museveni also asserted that Uganda had entered lower-middle-income status with a per capita income of $1,182. He urged the East African Community to remove trade barriers to foster a unified African market.

Despite Museveni’s praise for Speaker Anita Among and other parliament members, critics argue that his anti-corruption rhetoric is mere lip service. Many believe Museveni has had ample opportunity during his 38 years in power to address the issue but has failed to take effective action.

Opposition figures, including Ssenyonyi, view Museveni’s speeches as ritualistic, arguing that his leadership has not led to significant progress in combating corruption, which continues to hamper service delivery in Uganda.

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