Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s cabinet, has reportedly confessed that there are corrupt officials in his docket, but he does not have an option but to work with them.
The Minister has this week been on the spot after he admitted that he erroneously approved Shs10.6bn meant for the compensation of claimants in the sub-regions of Bunyoro and Buganda in the financial year ending this month.
While some Ugandans have been calling on the minister to resign over the mistake. But the moinister has been quoted as saying that he is not an incompetent minister but has been works with corrupt and selfish officials.
“I have not failed at my job but the people I’m working with are very corrupt, I don’t mean all of them but those who can selflessly work for this country are very few in my ministry,” Kasaija has been quoted as telling CBS FM.
“The public is in the business of blaming me but nobody can work with technical officers who are selfish and be appreciated.”
This is not the first time, Kasaija is complaining of corrupt officials in government ministries.
In May 2018, Minister Kasaija told the land commission of inquiry, whose chairperson was Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, that he sometimes shakes when signing off money meant for corrupt ministries — but again, he has no option but to do his work.
“There are some ministries where if I am signing off their money, I sign when my hands are shaking because I don’t know whether the money will reach where it is supposed to be,” Kasaija said.
“I am struggling hard to raise revenue simply because we want the money to fulfill what should be done. But money continues to leak and leak out. This problem is a problem that touches all of us. These people who want to be rich quickly by looting the state in broad daylight must be dealt with quickly. If we don’t, it will become ugly.”
Additional Reporting & Translation: Stephen Kalema/Watchdog