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

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid