Masaka RDC to Fight Corruption with Integrity Campaign

Published By UNNGOF |  September 4, 2014

Civil Society Organisations in Uganda initiated the Black Monday Campaign in 2012 to shame wickedness in our public sector that resulted from theft of public funds. Most funds stolen affected various sectors including the ailing health and education sector. After one year of the Black Monday Campaign, another idea was developed to start naming the heroes of integrity in our society.

The integrity campaign kicked off with various editions of the 2014 Black Monday Newsletters celebrating integrity icons including the Katikiro of Buganda Owe. Charles Peter Mayiga for integrity displayed in the famous Etofaali campaign.

We have a society that is dubbed “bakoowu” which loosely translated means tired. Communities have overtime vented at leaders in different foras with the most common method being riots that involve pelting stones. We have a society that increasingly demands for better services from leaders who do not seem to lend an ear.

However, there are personalities that have consciously and sub-consciously displayed attributes of integrity. As a result, CSOs under the leadership of Uganda National NGO Forum  have set out to do a Participatory Integrity Assessment in 10 districts of Uganda to identify community Champions, celebrate Integrity icons and help communities develop action plans for growing integrity values in society. The Integrity Campaign also celebrates public officials doing well and will affirm and recognize them

The Participatory Integrity Assessment was launched in Masaka District with a Training of researchers who will conduct the assessment. The Training of trainers was attended by over 40 participants from 28th -29th August 2014 and was structured with lectures from various facilitators, discussions and a pilot community survey in Kimanya and Kitenga as representatives of urban and rural areas respectively.

Both communities agreeably defined integrity while emphasizing transparency, righteousness, uprightness, trustworthy, good stewardship, fairness, firmness, responsibility and honesty. They agreed that corruption was a menace to service delivery in communities and that corrupt officials should be punished. Communities agreed on a community plan, meeting dates to realise the plan, voted integrity champions to lead the process, and committed to emulating lessons and good practices

While giving opening remarks at the training, Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga, Executive Director of Uganda National NGO Forum noted that where as in Uganda corruption is at its peak, there were personalities who hold values of integrity in the way they do their work and therefore the need to celebrate them by recognizing them in society in order to inspire others. He challenged Ugandans to stop lamenting about corruption but innovatively fight it.

“As Uganda, we need to walk away from lamenting about corruption and build a society rooted in values of integrity,” emphasized Mr. Ssewakiryanga.

Mr. Linos Ngompek, Masaka RDC promised to fight corruption and said integrity emanates from within the person and is an attribute that can’t be imparted like a skill.

“We have many leaders who blackmail their way to power positions and never deliver on their promises. I will fight this vice with you for as long as you are in Masaka,” added Mr. Ngompek.

Mr. Joseph Kalungi, LC V Masaka added his voice to the cause saying “We must value public property, have empathy and sympathize with communities. Let us not abuse our offices because we render people powerless when money intended for services is stolen.”

The Participatory Integrity Assessment will be conducted in Bushenyi, Arua, Luweero, Masindi, Kaberamaido, Kalangala, Jinja, Pader, Lira and Soroti from 13th -19th September 2014.