Subject: Wikileaks: ACCU Director's life threatened for revealing corrupt
official, i.e. Mbabazi, Mu7
10KAMPALA13 2010-01-07 11:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kampala
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 000013
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/07
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL KCOR KDEM UG SUBJECT: UGANDA: USG SUPPORTED
ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVIST THREATENED REF: 08 KAMPALA 01484
CLASSIFIED BY: Aaron Sampson, Pol/Econ Chief, State, Pol/Econ;
REASON: 1.4(B), (D) ¶1. (C) Summary: The Director of the Anti-Corruption
Uganda (ACCU), Jasper Tumuhimbise, went into hiding in late
December after publishing a "Fame and Shame" booklet on government
corruption. Funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC)
anti-corruption threshold program, ACCU's booklet is a public
perception survey in which Security Minister and National
Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Amama Mbabazi was perceived as
Uganda's most corrupt public official. Tumuhimbise
went into hiding after he and ACCU staff received threatening
telephone calls and a visit from security personnel seeking
information on the ACCU's international donors. On December 24,
Tumuhimbise told PolOff that security forces followed him from the
eastern town of Soroti to Kampala. He blames Mbabazi for the
intimidation of ACCU staff. End Summary.
ACCU's Book of Fame and Shame ----------------------------------------- ¶2. (U)
The ACCU is a coalition of approximately 60 local
anti-corruption organizations. In 2009, the ACCU received
approximately $25,000 in MCC funds to survey local perceptions of
government corruption, publish an annual book of "Fame and Shame",
and initiate an anti-corruption activist of the year award. The
ACCU says the booklet is intended to praise anti-corruption
"heroes" and force "the shamed persons to reflect on themselves;
the institutions they serve; their country and their level of
patriotism." Of the 1,772 survey
respondents, 30% identified
Security Minister Mbabazi as Uganda's most corrupt public official
due to his role in the 2008 Temangalo land scandal that cost the National
Social Security Fund approximately $6 million (ref. A). President Museveni
placed second on the list of shame, with 21% the vote, for failing to hold
Mbabazi, Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, and senior National Resistance Movement
(NRM) leaders accountable for corruption. Other "shamed" NRM officials include
Trade Minister Kahinda Otafiire, Public Works Minister John Nasasira, and
former Health Ministers Mike Mukula and Jim Muhwezi. ¶3. (U) Museveni also made
the ACCU's list of fame "as an unwavering
freedom fighter and anti-corruption activist." Disgraced
ex-Inspector General of Government Faith Mwondha, opposition figure
Norbert Mao, and First Lady Janet Museveni topped the fame list.
Survey respondents also positively perceived Ethics and Integrity
Minister Nsaba Buturo, who is
one of the most vocal proponents of
Uganda's draft anti-homosexuality legislation, for "his
outspokenness against corruption." Minister Buturo presided over
the booklet's launching ceremony. The ACCU selected James Ogoola,
Principal Judge of the High Court of Uganda, as the Anti-Corruption
Activist of the Year for 2009.
The "Shamed" Self-Incriminate Themselves Further
--------------------------------------------- ------------------- ¶4. (C) On
December 19, Mbabazi criticized the ACCU's booklet and
called Tumuhimbise an "idiot" on a local radio program. On December
21, Mbabazi's niece, Susan Katono, emailed a document criticizing
the ACCU's motives, methodology and findings to EconOff. Katono
compiled the document from comments sent to her by senior
government officials with the understanding that she would forward
the information to the U.S. Mission. Katono
indicated that Minister
Mbabazi and other NRM leaders were unhappy with the booklet. ¶5. (C) On
December 23, local media reported that Tumuhimbise was in
hiding, that ACCU staff were receiving threatening phone calls, and
that security officials questioned ACCU employees on the
organization's sources of funding. Tumuhimbise confirmed this
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information to PolOff on December 24, adding that he left Kampala
on the advice of friends only to return after discovering that
security services were shadowing him upcountry as well. Tumuhimbise
said a security vehicle tailed him from the eastern town of Soroti
back to Kampala. Having spearheaded the ACCU's lawsuit against the
NSSF over Mbabazi's Temangalo land scandal in 2008, Tumuhimbise
said he is accustomed to menacing phone calls, but that being
followed by a security services vehicle is new. Tumuhimbise added
that he is using a different telephone out of fear
security is tracking his regular cell phone.
Comment: Treating Critics Like Criminals
--------------------------------------------- ------ ¶6. (C) Under Mbabazi's
leadership, it appears Ugandan security
services spend the majority their time tracking opposition leaders
and critics of the NRM. While the ACCU's analytical methodology was
not the most advanced, its list of shame accurately captured public
perceptions of Uganda's most corrupt government officials.
Mbabazi's apparent response - tasking security services to hound
ACCU employees - interferes with a USG funded organization's
attempt to improve government transparency and reduce public sector
corruption. As the ACCU's most shamed public figure, Mbabazi is
living up to expectations.
Uganda: Fame And Shame Book a Good Start
9 December 2009
Over the years, a lot of resources have been dedicated to the fight against
corruption in Uganda. The number of anti-corruption institutions have also
multiplied but the vice has instead been galloping far ahead of these efforts.
It is possible that Ugandans have either accepted corruption as a way of life
or feel too powerless without unmasking the veil of corruption in putting faces
and real people to the unavailable public services or shoddy delivery where an
attempt has been made.
Like the media, anti-corruption agencies are running out of means on how to
package the corruption message that will project it in the clearest manner as
the most abhorable and shameful practice that it is.
As part of efforts to mark the world Anti-Corruption Day yesterday, the
Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda (ACCU) published - for the first time in
the history of Uganda and in its fight against corruption - a book aptly titled
the Book of Fame and Shame. The book captures public perceptions on the persons
Ugandans think are the most corrupt and those they think to be champions of the
fight against corruption.
It is interesting to note that some names appear on both lists as persons
Ugandans believe not to have done enough to fight corruption while at the same
time, others consider the same individuals as champions of the corruption fight.
Such a finding is critical. Until Ugandans begin feeling the embarrassment of
their actions, redemption will be difficult. Years of turmoil that brought
death and blood to young innocent eyes for long, general neglect and its
associated impact on service delivery, a high or low moral standing typical of
African traditional cultural values, have been compromised.
Hopefully, the efforts of ACCU, with support from other anti-corruption
institution, will bring Ugandans back on track. If leaders are concerned about
their moral values as public figures, and the general population moves to shun
the corrupt, then rays of hope will emerge.
Uganda: Fame, Shame And Naming Museveni
14 December 2009
Nairobi — The vanguard of the war on corruption last week took an audaciously
bold step by naming Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as protecting corrupt
public officials in the country's first ever public perception survey on
The haemorrhaging of taxpayers' funds through corruption is well documented.
At least $600 million -- half the budget of the Works Ministry, which is in
charge of the roads sector -- is lost annually in fraudulent tenders alone.
A lot more is bled away in direct bribes and kickbacks.
That is alarming, but not surprising, as many Ugandans know that these deals
are sanctioned from above.
Of course, the president's name has always been bandied about but only in
whispers; no publication has dared to name and shame the country's Fountain of
But according to the 'Book of Fame and Shame' released by the Anti Corruption
Coalition of Uganda, the president is perceived to protect officials who are
persistently disgraced in graft scandals.
The line-up of the corrupt in the survey, conducted between January and
November 2008, reads like a who's who of the ruling party -- from its officials
to Cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament, resident district commissioners
and heads of parastatals who are known supporters of Museveni's party -- a
serous indictment considering that the survey's respondents were drawn from
government institutions and the general public.
However, the Coalition's survey also names officials who are perceived to be
And bizarrely enough, Museveni's name makes this list as well.
The president's commitment is brought into question by the ongoing CHOGM probe,
in which the taxpayer bled over $200 million.
SO I ALSO Appeared IN WIKILEAKS! THE WORLD IS BECOMING SMALLER.