Ugandan CSO Strengthens Citizen Action against Corruption

28 July 2020 - Mid-western Region Anti-corruption Coalition (MIRAC) have popularized existing laws on public procurement and whistleblower protection in two districts of Uganda. MIRAC received support from UNODC to strengthen citizen action through trainings with government officials, distribution of pocket-friendly Acts, and civic education sessions.

MIRAC trained local government officials in the use of various communication channels, distributed 500 pocket-friendly whistleblower protection and public procurement acts, held six information sessions on whistleblowing to fight against corruption and four community civic education sessions. The project, entitled Strengthening Citizen Action on anti-corruption efforts in procurement and whistle-blower protection, was implemented in six sub-counties of the Hoima and Kikuube districts in Uganda.

The information sessions invited local leaders in the departments of planning and budget matters to be aware of the common threats of corruption. Executive Director of MIRAC, Kusemererwa Ismail, said "Through the information session with local leaders, we awakened the possibilities of reporting any corruption work by equipping them with the formal procedures when blowing the whistle. They assumed corruption is only embezzlement of public funds for personal gains, not knowing that stealing government property is also a form of corruption.”

The relationships built through the trainings and information sessions, have led MIRAC to become a member of the Hoima District Technical Planning Committee, which is responsible for decisions on the beneficiaries of government projects. The input of MIRAC on the committee and future government projects stems from their service delivery monitoring reports and community dialogue meetings that show citizens’ priorities based on the state of services in a given place or community.

Moving forward, MIRAC will act as the citizens’ voice to ensure that issues raised by the community are being discussed, continuing to bring accountability and transparency to budget decisions. The project is sponsored by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to contribute to fast-tracking UNCAC implementation in Eastern Africa.