Corruption in Uganda

The international scale of corruption in Uganda.

Canada is hit by Ugandan corruption; it has been infected shortly after the US. Ugandan corruption has become a foreign affairs issue, now practiced by Ugandan diplomats on foreign soil. In the most recent case, Canadian officials sent away Mr. Allan Tazenya, first Secretary in the Uganda High Commission in Ottawa for corruption.

According to an article posted by Chimpreport -A Kampala based Museveni’s mouthpiece- on the 16th of April, Allan Tazenya swindled 17,000 Canadian Dollars from his own Ugandan High commission. The article sugarcoats a serious event saying, “Mr Tazenya’s acceptance visa D0615532 was invalidated and cancelled”, instead of telling it as it is, Mr Tazenya was declared Persona Non Grata by Canada for Corruption. He is accused of facilitating inflated payments to a communication company and receiving kickbacks for his services.

Uganda is infamous for corruption. For instance, its President and Foreign Affairs Minister, were all mentioned in a very public scandalous corruption case in New York. One Patrick Ho was convicted of bribing President Museveni with 500,000 US Dollars (Exhibit #1510) and bribing the Ugandan Minister of Foreign affairs Sam Kutesa with a further 500,000 US Dollars.

On the Patrick Ho issue, Museveni only addressed the Minister’s payout side saying in December 2018:

  • “He [Kutesa] told me that the money was for a charity; this is a question of fact. I have told him to be in touch with our Attorney General to cross-check; was this money for the charity or it was for him?” adding that the minister would be “answerable” (Daily Monitor, 11th December 2018).

Ignoring the fact that he also received $500,000 from Ho, almost 5 months later, the Minister has not answered and his docket has to deal with yet another corruption scandal.

Ugandan diplomats worldwide will now be under scrutiny as details emerge of systemic corruption in their diplomatic corps. Rightly so, Chimpreport questions the quality of Ugandan diplomats after a series of scandals. So far, in less than one year, we have heard of a diplomat expelled for wife battering in the US, of the Uganda military attaché to Burundi beating a traffic police officer in Kampala, we heard about #1510 and now we hear about the Canadian case.

Diplomacy is about 3 Ps (Protect, Project and Promote). These diplomats, not only represent the Ugandan Government, they project the Ugandan Government. If Uganda government is violent then they will be violent, if Ugandan government is corrupt so too will their diplomats be. To tackle corruption in Uganda’s diplomatic corps, Chimpreport should call for action on corruption in Uganda. Do not expect them to be different to their appointing authorities.

There are credible reports that one has to bribe his way in and his way up in the Ugandan Government including the Diplomatic Corps. Joining the Diplomatic Corps might therefore be a business enterprise; one has to invest in an elaborate calculation for future return.

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