USA’s foreign policy dose to Uganda

Opinions -->
USA’s foreign policy dose to Uganda
Courtesy Photo

By Robert Kigongo.

I was listening to X Space about latest Sanctions imposed on some few Ugandan officials but my attention was drawn to the United States and people’s reaction.

United States government announced Visa Sanctions against some few Ugandan Officials and their spouses over gloss corruption and human rights abuses.

The news about the US sanctions had diverse opinions across the spectrum with most notably some stating it is a witch hunt against AHA;

While, other Ugandans believe precisely about Iron sheets ‘Mabati’ corruption shameful scandal and other gloss Corruption cases.

In my Opinion the USA was merely sending its usual red, white and blue envelope to the Uganda with foreign policy checks and balances pre-cautioning a partner state to address gloss political corruption and human rights abuses looming all-over foreign and local news.

It’s now 61 ones of bilateral relations between American and Ugandan people, but during those 61 years the relations were halted during the Idi Amin presidency sighting human rights abuses, corruption and terror of minority groups including Indians.

The United States Mission to Uganda clearly states that it’s working on healthier, educated, secure, a just and democratic Uganda thus investing close to 1 billion US dollars annually.

Why would it okay to accept the 1 Billion US dollars and all sort of partnerships in joint security programs? But feel offended by the condemnation against any miss use of resources culminating into corruption, this should not be an area of contention to jeopardise US-Uganda relations.

Yes! Uganda is a sovereign state but the US Visa sanctions on corrupt officials do not erase our borderlines or change the national anthem, flag, coat of arm or dictate any change of leadership.

Ideally, the US in its red, white and blue envelope with Visa Sanctions are about international or foreign policy checks and balances.

United States of America is known for exercising foreign checks and balances thus reminding Uganda about the common principles and values in foreign relations.

According to Transparency Foreign's 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index, Uganda scored 26 on a scale from 0 ("highly corrupt") to 100 ("very clean").

The report further states “When ranked by score, Uganda ranked 141st among the 180 countries in the Index, where the country ranked first is perceived to have the most honest public sector”

Literally, if you miss use tax payer’s money generated from revenues in Uganda and remittances from Ugandans working in the US don’t come to the United States;

Uganda is a net receiver of remittances in US currency some which comes from the United States, According to World Bank Uganda remittances stands at 1,294,938.295 Million dollars.

Uganda carries out financial services from remittance users using US dollar, has thus any corruption dubious transitions contribute to money laundering which can cause inflation of the dollar.

Reversely, Uganda by passing the AHA law is equally practising its sanctions regime to United States with a diverse population of different orientations;

Categorically, stating if you belong to LGBTQI+ community don’t bother asking for a visa to Uganda based on our laws of the land and cultural values.

Subsequently, Uganda should equally allow foreign checks and balances the same way we allows grants,  investments ,humanitarian assistance and trade its part of the red, white and blue envelope from the US.

US Mission to Uganda is committed to improving transparency, accountability and over sight thus taking measures against any form of corruption.

Perhaps, it paid attention to the Inspectorate of government report, Equal Opportunities commission report 2023, Policy dialogues, Public debates, public outcry and outrage in our national print papers, Television Broadcasts and social media.

According to Inspectorate of Government report, Uganda is estimated to looses 9.144 trillion annually which is equivalent to 44% of the total government revenue.

Sadly, this 9.144 trillion is money which can address the gaps in healthcare system and education that US is funding.

Uganda’s corruption has exposed the country to gloss inequality gaps, nepotism, tribalism, premature infrastructure break down, diatribe, inflation, environmental degradation and health and gender disparities.

Uganda’s corruption discourages foreign investments flourishment, despises African renaissance in the global spheres and foreign mistrust and foreign cooperation.

Corruption undermines economic, social and political progress but can potentially jeopardises national security and political stability.

Fortunately, Uganda has good policies and ant-corruption institutions namely Inspectorate of government, Directorate of public prosecution, Police, State House anti-corruption Unit.

I can’t underscore the efforts done by anti-corruption agencies but their work is being undermined by gloss Impunity the elephant in room.

Industrial scale corruption is fuelled by impunity upon which political corruption triumphs.

Despite all the criminal laws and efforts against corruption some Officials continue to engage in the vice because of impunity, knowing that absolutely nothing will happen even with evidence.

Impunity stems from Patronage and it’s no secret that Uganda is under a patriarchy system seasoned with political corruption.

One of the pillars upon which corruption in Uganda springs is ‘quid pro quo’ the exchange of government jobs for political support, similar to what happened in the US during the gilded age.

The United States has also been a statistic of nations that faced gloss corruption under president Ulysses S.Grant but progressively recovered;

At one point in 1800’s the US had an anti-corruption presidential candidate in Andrew Jackson.

According to Transparency Foreign report 2023 corruption perceptive index the US is now ranked 24th among 180 Countries with 100 to 0 most honest public sector.

The US perhaps is reminding Uganda to learn from its past challenges with corruption and overcome a vice that is limiting our speedy economic growth and quality service delivery for all.

The US under President Theodore Roosevelt started the progressive movement which minimised the corruption vice that consumed the US in the Gild era.

Uganda has an opportunity to learn from the US how it dealt with corruption, probably start a look like progressive movement and civil service reform to curb down impunity and political corruption.

Perhaps, Uganda government is responding to the foreign checks and balances trying to exhibit executive will.

The recent response from President Yoweri Museveni about corruption rightly came during the State of the Nation Address 2024, was a clarion call against industrial scale corruption between finance ministry and Parliament of Uganda.

Prompting Police’s Criminal investigations department arresting Cissy Namujju and two other legislators of the 11th parliament budget committee members.

For Uganda to be free from Corruption it must adhere to foreign checks and balances among other efforts to keep healthier foreign relations with the United States, UK among others.


Robert Kigongo is a democracy deliverer and sustainable development analyst.




Reader's Comments