The 9th Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa has kicked off in Uganda with President Yoweri Museveni lampooning corruption.
The conference declared open by Uganda’s president Museveni attracted delegates from 16 African countries.
The meeting which would run till 11th May at Uganda’s Lake Serena Kigo would focus on three key issues.
The issues needed to be resolved in the corruption fight, including ensuring thorough investigations, enforcing prosecution and getting the courts to dispense immediate justice.
According to Museveni, the public are the victims of corruption and are a good tool to fight the vice.
“They have nothing to benefit from the corrupt,” said Museveni
He said the battle against corruption is winnable adding that African countries have to work together to achieve this.
Uganda’s Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah called for a complete mindset change, which he said is the best way to fight corruption.
“Society tends to applaud and glorify the corrupt for their ill-gotten acquisitions, which he says marginalizes hard working people and condition others to steal in order to meet societal expectations.”
According to Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General Commonwealth Secretariat the conference is one of the efforts to institutionalize the fight against corruption with the aim of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 which lists specific methods of tackling corruption because it undermines every effort.
The head of Uganda’s Anti-graft Organisation the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja told the meeting that the road to a corruption-free Africa starts with the countries.
She said Uganda has adopted a zero tolerance policy to corruption which is buttressed by the firm commitment of President Museveni to eradicating corruption in public office.
The meeting is running on the theme “Time to Act: Prevent Corruption for sustainable Development.”
Among the countries represented at the conference is Botswana, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mauritius and Lesotho.
The annual rotational conference took place in Abuja, Nigeria last year and will move to Rwanda in 2020.