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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid