It was reported yesterday that Uganda’s Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has vowed to emulate Rwanda’s policies in the fight against corruption.
Corruption in any form whether by public officers or by those with responsibilities towards the public is an injustice against the citizens and all who deal with such officials or individuals.
And injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere as the American civil rights activist the Reverend Martin Luther King Jnr once said.
Rwanda is now a fully fledged member of the East African Community (EAC). We do trade on a daily basis with other countries in the community and as such, come into contact with public officials and individuals in all countries of the EAC.
The implication is that a corrupt official in any of the countries of the community, has a negative impact on people who include nationals in his or her own country and nationals of other countries that do business in and through that country.
Thus the fight against corruption in this sense takes a regional/ EAC dimension.
By Uganda’s PPDA deciding to emulate and hence draw lessons from Rwanda’s anti-corruption policies, they are adopting good practices that have worked and at the same time creating a situation whereby even Rwandan nationals benefit from their own countries good practices even when they are not at home, since they will have been adopted and implemented in another country.
Given the nature of the interdependence of EAC countries, adopting common policies against corruption would serve a positive purpose especially in enabling trade in the community.
It is demoralizing for a business man getting services without being asked for a bribe in Rwanda, and then having to cough bribe money just after crossing the border to a neighbouring country.