As I continue to grapple with the faces and effects of corruption in Uganda, I wish to re-focus the debate. The number of people affected is very big and the national resources are eroded because of corruption.
I have seen people drinking water that cannot wash the feet of our politicians who are â€œsacrificingâ€. I have watched mothers with children on their backs lining up in health centres with horrid sanitary conditions without any hope for drugs.
I have also seen children studying under trees and using the ground as their exercise books! Since lack of medicine, water and scholastic materials is not because of failure to invest, those responsible should face the law.
I have compiled cases of malaria and other curable diseases from the Ministry of Health. It was hard for me to believe that in spite of all the efforts put in by all stakeholders, the situation is worse than even pre-1986! Branding of drugs has only helped to identify that one is purchasing â free services but there has been no positive change in the health sector.
Grand corruption is like the historical cases of Global Fund, junk helicopters, NSSF's various frauds and the disasters on our roads. All these have had a negative impact on the national economy. That notwithstanding, three recent examples have modified my perception of grand corruption as compared to petty corruption in this country.
In Oli Division in Arua, I witnessed young mothers and children making holes in the ground in order to extract a cup of dirty water to drink. In Pallisa, where a shallow well was constructed instead of a borehole, I saw people sharing it with a pig!
In Manafwa district, I saw about 50 disabled persons sharing one three-wheeled bicycle to move and fetch water from a distance of about 3km! These are direct effects of corruption.