Freddie Kwiringira runs a safari business in Uganda. He has strong words about the local kleptocrats and the damage they’re doing.
Writing in Uganda’s New Vision, the plain-speaking Kwiringira said: “It is usual in Uganda to find a public servant working in a hospital, with over ten houses, farms, properties abroad, and children studying in London, USA. Where do these fellows get these monies?”
What’s worse, the crooked pols and bureaucrats explain Uganda’s graft by always blaming others. They’re playing the race card — and sometimes the tribal or religion card.
Kwiringira doesn’t buy it. “Corruption has no tribe, ethnicity, sex, religion or color,” he said.
“It is diversionary to keep pointing at . . . an ethnic group, tribe, or region as the main culprits of squandering public resources in Uganda. This is why our parliament keeps going in circles without any visible results. Evil should be called by its name.”
“Integrity is under attack in our society, Uganda,” he said.
Kwiringira’s fix? “The properties of thieves should be auctioned so that it is a deterrent for those still holding public [offices] to be good stewards of public funds.”
Can countries really win the fight against graft? Kwiringira thinks so. Look at Singapore’s transformation “under the extraordinary leadership of Lee Kuan Yew,” he said.
“He never waited for clouds to settle, or circumstances to be conducive,” Kwiringira said of Lee. “It was a tough journey, but he triumphed!”
Uganda needs leaders who will do the same, he said.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.