ICT can contribute in the fight against Corruption

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While most governments, by their pronouncements, have long recognized the threats corruption pose to economic growth, there is little, if any sign that they are on course fighting the vice, apart from occasional lip service.

Less developed countries, most of which are unsurprisingly in Africa, have times without number abused the generosity and good will of donor nations by grossly misappropriating grants meant for the development of facilities.

Suffice it to note that since a greater portion of the aid attracts very high interest rates, it is pitiful for a poor country to be so much entangled in debts which did not benefit the nationals in the first place but swindled by individuals. In fact, divisions between government ministers, which has of late been characterised by cliquism, is rarely due to ideological differences, but largely due to the competition of “who is stealing what”.

Certainly, advantage is being taken of the absence of basic information on the part of the populace about how public funds are used or rather misused. Attesting to this, is the fact that corrupt officials not only get away with their guilt, but go right on aggressively bashing their critics in public, with a level of confidence not fitting for such a criminal.

It is appropriate that Uganda makes good use of the national back bone bandwidths and implements e-government policies, whereupon each disbursement of fund at whichever level is made known to the public thought web portals, which must be routinely updated.

If, for example, citizens know that a valley dam of a certain dimension is to be built-in Karamoja with in a given time frame, there would be less likelihood of such funds being stolen, or if stolen the public are empowered to demand for legal redress. Better still, if citizens know the qualities of goods and services to be procured, procurement officials are put to task to abide by stipulated procedures.

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CAN OLD VERSION FEDERALISM FAIR UNDER CAPITALISM

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For lack of party identity, by which I mean the ideological base on which political parties exist, it is current occurrences which forms the basis of campaign manifestos with little or no regard to the past, and possible future consequences of the rather reckless decisions made at the moment.

Quite obviously, the federalism question often features prominently when national elections are in the offing. Even a legislator who has been quite in parliament, or “sleeping in parliament”, most  of them invariable demand for federal governance in media, probably to hoodwink the common man that their MP is tirelessly struggling for their cause, while it is clear, this is simply another of the myriad hollow pretensions they common man has to contend with.

The federalism or unitarism, though an important question for all citizens, has not been subjected the serious dialog that is incidentally required for any nationally binding system of governance of its kind. The result has been that opportunist have hijacked the debate, and one thing is clear, the quest is instead being used as a political capital and that is why the question rarely surfaces in parliament for discussion, instead MPs chooses to discuss this pertinent matter in the press. Ordinarily, the flaws of our parliament notwithstanding, an issue being talked of by many people should have necessitated parliament’s intervention.

The moral entity — the grammatical being called Federalism, has been clothed in attributes that have no real existence except in the imagination of those who metamorphose a word into a thing…. This has given rise to many difficulties and to some deplorable misunderstanding in political economy.

Proponents maintain that federalism is the best power sharing concept that has ever existed, but it is scarcely to be hoped that such systems that faired so well can approximate even half its erstwhile efficiencies, now under the dispensation of capitalism let alone democracy.

It is perfectly sound reasoning from the point of view of cultural practice, but very unsound economic science, viz., to suppose that a nation can exits within a nation, and the two can comprehensively deliver services to the satisfaction of citizens.

Truly, one must be destitute of all historical knowledge not to know that whereas kings were accorded unreserved respect, dissidents existed in multitudes, but they did not have the time and space to make their ant-establishment remarks, unless they were willing to sign their own death warrants.

The power balance between the two power blocks is at best tricky, at worst dysfunctional. Where there is a strong central government, the federal units will just exist in name; almost invariably as useless as no federal government at all. On the other hand, where the federal government is weak, each federal unit behaves as it pleases; in short the day federal units become stronger is the beginning of anarchy.

But that is not all, whereas previously the richest institution  would either be the church or a king/kingdom, today the economic relations have totally changed  that soon there will be companies perhaps richer than the both the kings and churches combined, and with such a change, federalism can still work out but with adjustments, not the “old fashioned”.