Transparency International has blamed China after the non-government organisation recognised President Yoweri Museveni for his fight against corruption, only for a federal court in the US to implicate the Ugandan head of state in a bribery scandal.
Asked about the due diligence done to ensure President Museveni was deserving of the award he received on December 4, Transparency International told The EastAfrican that background checks had been conducted but that Transparency International China may have failed to penalise the export of corruption to Uganda.
Transparency International says that had China taken up its role of enforcing its own laws on bribery abroad, President Museveni’s involvement in cases like that of Patrick Ho the former Hong Kong minister for Home Affairs would not have arisen.
On December 4, Dr Delia Ferreira Rubio, the chairperson of Transparency International handed President Museveni an anti-corruption award for his work in fighting corruption as the global body and its Ugandan chapter celebrated 25 years since the latter’s establishment in Kampala.
Transparency International now says that as an organisation, they can give out an award for partial contribution to the fight against corruption, even to an individual like President Museveni who has been implicated in a bribery scandal.
The institutional framework that won President Museveni the award was the law establishing Inspector General of Government.
The role of the IGG is to fight corruption in public institutions, a job that several commentators say has been done poorly.
With this award, President Museveni now joins a list of world renowned crusaders against corruption including Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist murdered in October 2017.
The journalist was reportedly murdered for her anti-corruption work and Transparency International recognised her efforts in October with an award that was received by her husband and her son.
Critics of President Museveni, however, say that no serious person or institution can say the president is interested in fighting corruption.
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, who is commonly known by his stage name Bobi Wine, laughed off President Museveni’s credentials, as a fighter against corruption.
According to Bobi Wine, Mr Museveni is the reason Uganda is ranked among some of the most corrupt countries in the world, at 151 out of 183.
“How can we depend on a man who has created and presides over one of the most corrupt systems to solve the problem?” asks Bobi Wine.
Having received an award for his efforts, President Museveni announced on December 10, a new unit to fight corruption, terming it a new initiative that he said can be trusted by the public.