KAMPALA - Rwanda’s zero tolerance for all forms of corruption hasn’t gone unnoticed Uganda’s Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority(PPDA) has vowed to emulate Rwanda’s policies in the fight against corruption.
The chairman of PPDA, James Kahoza, during a one day national stakeholders’ workshop on integrity pacts in Kampala lauded Rwanda for the fight saying, the country has shown consistency in combating corruption and ensuring that there are no sacred cows.
In an interview with The New Times, Kahoza said that Rwanda’s anti-corruption policies should serve as an example to Uganda and other African countries.
He called on members of PPDA and the press to act decisively against graft by exposing corrupt officials and taking prompt action against the perpetrators of the vice.
“Rwanda has applied such measures which have ensured strict discipline and partner states should learn lessons and apply them,” he said.
The procurement integrity survey of 2006, estimated that Uganda lost US$150m through corruption in procurement.
During the workshop, Rwanda was praised for fighting the vice because corruption is regarded as ‘glamorous’ in Uganda and is motivated by greed among some officials, according to Uganda’s former Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Miria Matembe.
The PPDA was established in 2003 by the Act of Parliament of Uganda to regulate and curb corruption in public procurement.
Civil servants in Rwanda have been asked to declare their wealth as part of a campaign against corruption.
Rwanda’s constitution requires public office holders to declare their wealth.
Recently when addressing members of the press, President Paul Kagame said that the anti corruption battle is only intensifying and those who thought government could lose the momentum are in for a surprise.
Kagame, said the leniency within anti graft laws was indirectly fuelling the vice as more people choose to embezzle state resources hoping to come out of detention and enjoy their loot.
The President’s tough remarks come at a time when a significant number of top government officials were in detention for embezzlement or gross mismanagement of state resources.
Business leaders in East Africa recently challenged the regional governments to set up structures that promote transparency to bolster business in the region.
The concerns followed the publication of a 2008 EABC Business Climate Index survey, which reveals that at least 35 percent of business leaders interviewed indicated that corruption at customs is a major obstacle to doing business in the region.
The World Bank estimates that $1 trillion is paid in bribes each year.
The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published by Transparency International (TI), ranked Rwanda and Tanzania as the least corrupt countries in the East African Community (EAC).