The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Justice Mike Chibita has given the country assurances that he is free of political influence in the execution of his duties.
Chibita gave the firm assurance while speaking at the Dialogue on Corruption at Hotel Africana on Wednesday.
“I am free from political influence. Am lucky that my office has zero political influence and we are allowed to carry out work independently,” Chibita said at the conference whose theme was; Enhancing Collective Action in Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Response.”
He added, “We are not short of a legal framework to fight corruption. We have an abundance of laws in the country. In addition to law institutions, we have the public and media to help us in this fight”
Chibita also listed the agencies involved in the fight against graft and mentioned the strides made by his office in curbing the vice. He revealed that the DPP had recovered assets, engaged in civil and criminal procedures although he emphasised the need for training to enlarge the fight against graft.
“We need sensitisation on the role of the publics because the biggest part has to be played by the public,” Chibita said.
The dialogue was organised under the auspices of the office of the DPP, Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and in collaboration with Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Response Technical Advisory Facility (SUGAR TAF).
The importance of the public in the fight against graft was emphasised by the head of the Anti-Corruption Division, Justice Lawrence Gidudu saying it is the duty of every citizen to combat corruption.
“I commend the IGG and other institutions for being able to do what they can. Corruption is so sophisticated we need to use other methods,” Gidudu said before suggesting a ‘Gorilla method’ that involves strategies; ‘Constant suspicion, mobility and vigilance’ borrowed from revolutionary Che Guevara.
It attracted a number of big shots involved in the fight against corruption including the head of the Anti-Corruption Division, Justice Lawrence Gidudu, Inspector General of Government (IGG) Justice Irene Mulyangonja, CIID boss, Grace Akullo and the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema. The Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) Angela Nyangwa was also present.
On her part, IGG Mulyagonja spoke of the role of her office vis-à-vis the State House Anti-Corruption Unit saying it is not about competition but making sure there are enough convictions to deter the vice.
“We must work collectively with the various anti-corruption agencies and act to fight corruption. Fighting corruption also means creating efficient systems where people can be brought to account,” Mulyagonja said.
She added, “Our methods are slow because we want every one we take to court to be convicted. You must prove beyond reasonable doubt in court. We also don’t want gov’t to lose money when we lose in court.”
Nakalema spoke on the Bank Of Uganda saga and denied reports that her unit was investigating the possibility of extra cash on the plane chartered by the Central Bank to deliver a consignment in April.
The unit is talk of the town after it questioned BoU officials over the anomaly that saw the plane transport extra cargo in addition to the bank’s consignment.
She also revealed bits on what the unit does saying it is a quick response team to public outcry about corruption but coordinates with other agencies mandated by the constitution to fight graft.
The Dialogue was organised to illuminate critical issues about Uganda’s anti-corruption response and particularly serve to build collective action among the different spheres of the Uganda public.
It is framed against the shared belief that corruption is a common challenge affecting the prosperity of the people of Uganda and national development.