Thursday, 27 November 2008

Excellent Piece by Prof. Nuwagaba

Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba is based at Makerere and is an outspoken expert on poverty eradication. This article is a very good analysis of the moral bankruptcy of corruption, entitled 'The Corrupt Are Heroes, The Honest Are Fools'. This is an issue we have touched on in lectures and is undeniably a pervasive attitude in all sectors of society. Driving without insurance? Pay off the traffic police. Find yourself as Minister of Health? Supplement your salary with donor funds meant for AIDS drugs. Want to change the Constitution to give yourself a third term? Distribute brown envelopes stuffed with 5 million shillings to Members of Parliament. As Nuwagaba put it:

"Corruption is like a snowball, once it starts rolling it must increase. This implies that when those who are corrupt go unpunished, few are willing to swim against the tide"

Below is an excerpt and the full article can be found on the New Vision website at the following web address:

"The Inspectorate of Government on November 19, officially released results of the third National Integrity Survey, yet, another milestone for the Inspector General of Government (IGG), the Police and Judiciary who took the trophy of the poorest integrity in the land.

According to the report, the corrupt practices were largely attributed to greed, a practice characterised by what I call primitive accumulation of capital. This refers to a situation where people steal public resources with impunity, including drugs for children, and medical equipment.

As a result, Uganda continues with a shameful infant mortality rate of 76 per 1000 children born alive every year and even a more shame of death of 435 per 100,000 women annually during child delivery.

How about our schools and roads? The answers are known to every body. It is, however, most saddening the corrupt and the wealthy are perceived as “heroes” while the honest and the poor are regarded as “fools”. This is the highest level of moral decadence and societal betrayal."

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