By Our Reporter,
The number of Ugandans who perceive MPs as corrupt has increased in the last decade, according to data from a perception survey index on corruption, released by the Afro-Barometer, a Pan-African non-partisan research network in Kampala, indicated that from 2005 to date, the number of people who deem the MPs as corrupt has increased by 12% points.
While reviewing the research findings conducted in 2019 and 2021, the project co-investigator, Francis Kibirige, said in 2005, only 25% of Ugandans perceived the MPs as corrupt and that the number has continued to increase.
Over 3,600 people were interviewed from different parts of the country. “The number of Ugandans who consider MPs to be corrupt peaked in 2017 at 40% and lowered to 33% in 2019,” Kibirige said.
Although the MPs rank fifth among the public officials perceived to be corrupt, after the Police, civil servants, tax officials, judges and magistrates, the perceptions of widespread corruption among MPs increased by over 6% points between 2012 and 2019, just 1% point below the Police, which Ugandans continue to perceive as the most corrupt government institution.
A corruption-free Uganda is one of the five targets that President Yoweri Museveni has tasked his new Cabinet with, over the next five years. The others include cohesion, integration, service delivery as well as patriotism.
Among Ugandans who had contact with key public services in 2019, Kibirige said three-quarters, about 75%, claimed to have paid a bribe to obtain police assistance.
“More than two-thirds (68%) of Ugandans say most or all police officials are corrupt,” he said.
Bribes were also reportedly paid to obtain medical care services, identity documents and schools services, among others, according to the report.
More than three-quarters of Ugandans, as per the perception index, believe that citizens who report corruption to the authorities risk retaliation or other negative consequences.
The proportion of Ugandans who say that most or all judges and magistrates are corrupt, according to the perception index, rose by 15% points between 2012 and 2019, to 44%. The traditional civil service is perceived to be less corrupt at 30%.
According to Kibirige, religious leaders are perceived to be less corrupt at 7%, followed by traditional leaders at 11%.