News / Africa

Uganda Fails to Prosecute High-Level Corruption, Report Says

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.
Human Rights Watch says Uganda’s government has failed to deliver on its promise to effectively address corruption despite good technical work by investigators and prosecutors.  
 
The report, entitled “Letting the Big Fish Swim," points out that no high-ranking Ugandan government official, minister or political appointee has ever served prison time for corruption while anti-corruption activists often face harassment and arrest.
 
In the report released Monday, the watchdog group said those who do stand trial in Uganda’s numerous corruption scandals tend to be low-level public employees whose conviction is unlikely to change the way the system works.
 
Human Rights Watch’s Maria Burnett says cases against high-level officials tend not to proceed at all, largely due to political interference and intimidation.
 
“Why is that that those cases don’t end up before the courts despite the rumor, the discussion, the evidence in some cases?" Burnett said. "Our concern is that prosecutors face interference, harassment and threats, and that witnesses who have that kind of crucial evidence that they can bring to the table, those people are not safe to come forward.”
 
When Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni came to power 27 years ago, he vowed to fight corruption and has established anti-corruption institutions during his time in office. His government claims to be devoted to rooting out graft.
 
But despite such pledges, Burnett says Museveni himself has often intervened on behalf of high-level officials facing corruption charges.
 
“He has made public statements about quality of evidence, whether they’re innocent or guilty, in one case offering to pay for people’s legal fees," she said. "Given his dominance in public affairs, I think that’s very troubling.”
 
Burnett urges foreign donors to see beyond the government’s rhetoric, and to be more aware of the true scope of Uganda’s corruption problem.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sn from: kampala
October 23, 2013 2:52 AM
27 years ago Museveni came to power through corruption; infiltrated the army, confused the army and peddled lies till he succeeded. He deceived people about a new constitution only to present a personal document which he uses as he wishes.
His kinsmen from both Uganda and Rwanda are all over, killing and amassing wealth.
He oversees many of the corruption scandals. He uses the army, the police and judiciary to maximize his effectiveness.
He tell outright lies when it suits him. He even orders fake prosecutions of political opponents as he did with the rape case against FDC leader. He stands for corruption at any one time.


by: Onono Fred from: Kitgum,Uganda
October 21, 2013 1:06 PM
These observations are right only that the details should have been brought forth forward to support the findings..!! It would be more convincing if examples and names of the high profile politicians were mentioned!
In Response

by: paulakey from: Canada
October 21, 2013 1:57 PM

Uganda and other homophobic countries need to check modern scientific research on homosexuality and not base beliefs and actions on a 3,500 year of Scripture whne starting a fire was done with rubbing two sticks together. Psychiatrists and their organizations world wide - UK, Europe, India, China, N.Z, Australia, USA have stated that homosexuality is NOT a) a disease b) a mental illness and is c) not a perversion - and - d) it cannot be reversed.
If it is NOT a perversion and it CANNOT be reversed, then it is NOT a choice.
Why persecute people born this way in the name of God.
Rev. Scott Lively is now on trial for "Crimes Against Humanity," in a Massachusettes' court. He went to Uganda with Rev Rick Warren (who is personal friend of Uganda's President's wife. A bill was introduced in Uganda after Lively and Warren's visit "Kill the Gays Bill." A newspaper in Uganda (Rolling Stone) published pictures and names of 'suspected' homosexuals and David Kato (Gay Activisit) was murdered in his home. Even when David's body was lowered into the ground, Evangelical Ugandan ministers (financed by USA evangelicals) shouted insults and Scriptural quotes against homosexuality.
There needs to be a world-wide ban on Uganda like South Africa.


by: Dr. Matheas from: Germany
October 21, 2013 11:38 AM
yet they hold a control seat on the ICC... go figure...
what a farce!!!


by: Bobil from: Kitgum, Uganda
October 21, 2013 11:03 AM
Museveni is a trickster who distracts the public discourse on the pressing issue of corruption by needlessly mudslinging the west for alleged neocolonialism.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs