NRM MPs Agree to Amend Anti-Corruption Laws

Denis Hamson Obua, the Government Chief Whip, and Chairperson of the Caucus. PHOTO/COURTESY

The NRM Parliamentary Caucus of the National Resistance Movement has officially thrown its support behind the government’s proposal to enact stringent amendments aimed at bolstering the anti-corruption legal framework, with a particular emphasis on combating white-collar crime.

White-collar crime encompasses nonviolent financial offenses, including public corruption, healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering, insider trading, mail and wire fraud, as well as other unethical financial activities.

Denis Hamson Obua, who serves as both the Government Chief Whip and the Chairperson of the Caucus, disclosed that the President had informed NRM MPs about the government’s ongoing efforts to introduce these amendments, specifically targeting the fight against white-collar crime.

While the exact nature of the proposed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009 remains undisclosed, a 2020 study conducted by the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) critically assessed the Act’s status and the level of its implementation. The study raised concerns about the law’s ‘inherent weaknesses,’ which have hindered the effective enforcement of its provisions.

One notable shortcoming identified in the study was the absence of a comprehensive witness protection mechanism, making it challenging to prosecute individuals involved in offenses such as abuse of office and causing financial losses to the government. These weaknesses in the law have allowed corrupt practices to persist with impunity, contrary to the law’s intended objectives.

According to the 2021 Report of the Inspectorate on the Cost of Corruption, Uganda suffers annual losses of approximately Shillings 10 trillion, equivalent to approximately 23% of the annual national budget, due to corruption. Transparency International’s global corruption perception index ranks Uganda at 142 out of 180 countries, highlighting the pervasive issue of corruption within the nation.


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