Ineffective corruption fight deals with symptoms & not root causes

The story of the young banker who stole 780 million shillings from Stanbic Bank is an interesting story of corruption. However, like most stories on corruption in Uganda it mostly dwelt on the symptoms and not the root causes. The story did not tell us about the systemic reasons why this guy was able to achieve his objective to steal. It focused on the amount that got stolen and not the systems that allowed for the money to be stolen in the first place.

  • What wen wrong with the checks and balances within the Stanbic approval systems?
  • Did they exist at the time or not?
  • How is it possible that a junior – young banker – can initiate transactions of such volume without a senior banker’s approval?

Or is it the case that the systems are in place but it was a human resources problem – as in the supervisors of the young banker colluded with him or they were just simply incompetent. If this be the case, that they were incompetent, how did the incompetent supervisors get their jobs?

  • Who was responsible for hiring them?
  • Was the recruitment committee/firm that hired them incompetent or were they competent but instead chose to accept a bribe and to offer the incompetent persons the job?

But then again our recruitment processes often focus on ‘papers’ and not moral character. It is quite possible that the recruitment committee/firm hired the right persons for the job based on the technical requirements as they were required to.

Many questions often remain unanswered in most Ugandan corruption stories. The fight against corruption needs for us to dig deeper into the foundations in order to uncover the systemic causes. And until such a time as we begin to deal with the root causes of the problem, we will not overcome it.

Profiled photo @ Monitor

6 responses to “Ineffective corruption fight deals with symptoms & not root causes”

  1. […] Until our fight against corruption moves beyond the symptoms and to root causes, we must expect more OPM corruption scandals. After all, as was the case with Kazinda, the lowly officers will continue to be sacrificed while the real ‘big fish’, who are the cancer, will continue to disenfranchise us of the public good for their own personal gain. Read more of my views on this in “Ineffective corruption fight deals with symptoms & not root causes.” […]


  2. Which reminds me – Office of the Prime Minister Saga in which billions of shillings were stolen. Kazinda was the only one found guilty and was given a 5 year prison sentence, yet several government officials in the OPM, Ministry of Finance and Bank of Uganda were named in connection with the stolen funds.

    Liked by 1 person

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