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General Kahinda Otafiire, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, says the defunct Movement System of government which registered less corruption incidences compared to the rampant graft under the existing multiparty system.

After taking over government in 1986, President Yoweri Museveni introduced the Movement political system that was “broad-based” and open to politicians who belonged to political parties and those who were apolitical. Elections were based on individual merit not party affiliation.

In 2000, however, Ugandans voted in a referendum to return to multiparty politics. But Gen Otafiire said in Masaka on Tuesday, during celebrations to mark the NRM 31 anniversary that the Movement System provided a peaceful, corruption-free and a unity government.

He said that under the Movement System, politicians like former Democratic Party leader Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemwogere served as ministers leading to “effective service delivery”. The Minister said that he only recalls “one corruption case” that involved the then Bugweri County MP, Kirunda Kivenjinja that was reported under the Movement System.

Mr Kivenjinja was implicated back then for the theft of 2,000 litres of fuel that he reportedly used to construct roads in his constituency. He called on Democratic Party members to join the NRM and work together to improve service delivery instead of “losing sleep” over President Museveni’s leadership. The 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, ranked Uganda in 151st out of 175 countries that were reviewed.

The Corruption Perception Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. Public and private officials continue to engage in corrupt practices despite laws and institutional instruments that are in place to prevent and punish corruption. Roads, police and Judiciary are some of the areas where grand and petty corruption is rampant. Businesses are vulnerable when bidding public contracts because processes are always not transparent, under-the-table cash payments are demanded from procurement officers.

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