Welcome to April’s newsletter all Prayer for Africa warriors.
It is often said that the continent Africa and the word corruption are synonymous. But is this the case? Corruption on a large scale can be found all over the world, in all races and continents.
For instance we have all heard of the Profumo scandal in the 60s, and recently, cash for questions, the MP expenses scandal, Watergate and the open bribery system of lobbying practised legally in the USA congress and senate.
Corruption is also said to be widespread in Asia and the Middle East. So why is Africa stigmatized and corruption emphasized as a particular problem for the continent. Premier radio presenter Muyiwa interviews a Christian lady charged with tackling corruption in Uganda, Madame Irene Mulyagonya (image below) commonly known as Madame IGG.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: What is the mandate that the Inspector General Department has?
Madame IGG: We are charged with fighting corruption within the government in Uganda and ensuring law and order in public office and making sure that no administrative injustice occurs in public office. I report directly to the President and parliament.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: How did you end up getting this position?
Madame IGG:I was a judge and in fact had only been appointed a judge for four years. I was quite happy in my job , it was a quiet life, I would wake up in the morning, attend court, hear my cases, make a judgement. I was behind the scenes, out of the public eye and I loved it as I’m the sort of person who enjoyed writing my judgements, stating my argument and they would not be challenged as they were well thought out and solid but in this job everything you say is vigorously challenged as there is always someone who disagrees.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: So why did you take up such a position alien to your nature?
Madame IGG: Firstly, I had a dream about the President of Uganda landing on a helicopter in my home’s compound. Two or three days later the President asked me to meet him at his residence. With trepidation and worry I went , wondering if it had anything to do with my dream. There he asked me to accept the position of Inspector General . My initial response was negative but he was very persuasive so I ended up agreeing but felt no peace. So going into my bible, the verses in Proverbs, seek wisdom and I will be with you kept reoccurring throughout my bible study and I became convinced that it was God’s will for me and obedience required and that God would indeed accompany me in this position, protecting and giving me wisdom, correct application of knowledge gained. Armed with this, I finally felt peace about the appointment.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: Is the position risky?
Madame IGG: In this position we are sometimes dealing with contracts of millions of dollars and powerful interests at stake. For example, we were asked to investigate an award of a contract regarding the construction of a hydro electric power plant in central northern Uganda, 600 mega watts and there was a fight between foreign companies and accusations of unsuitability of the company awarded and misrepresentation of the facts given to the committee awarding body. This was a case that arose when I was just 8 months into the position and still finding my feet. Questions such as, will my decision stand? Am I safe? Will my decision be acceptable? were whirling around my mind . There were very many middle men, all with their own agenda and opinions. I conducted the investigation and produced a report to the best of my ability.
As to my safety, I am given several policemen to travel with me, three personal guards, two at night and one during the day, a driver also a trained security officer. At first I did not believe I needed this amount of protection but soon found out that it was necessary and vital for the work I am charged to do.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: How do you feel when your decisions are challenged and you are verbally attacked?
Madame IGG: Everyone has an opinion about what I do or don’t do. For instance, a TV presenter vigorously challenged my decision to stop a road construction project in Mokono, stating that I was preventing the development of the country and I was not the right person for such an important job. The circumstances were that a contract had been awarded to a spurious company abroad for around 165 billion Ugandan shillings ( $60 million ) 24 Billion Ugandan shillings had been misappropriated to this strange company and no work had been done on the road and there was no accountability or knowledge about what this company was going to do or not do. A report was made to my department and we decided it warranted an investigation and further funds for the construction was halted. One never knows whose toes one is treading on or how important the people involved are. It was intimated that a minister of government was involved.
However I do sometime take such attacks personally especially if it involves my family members. My daughter has just been appointed to a new position within government after graduating from university, her first position and allegations totally unfounded have been propagated as to nepotism due to my position, her working life has been turned into a living hell and this has been going on non-stop for months.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: Why is corruption in Africa highlighted whilst other parts of the world are spared from such vilification?
Madame IGG: For most countries in Africa and this is true of Uganda, most of their economy is produced by government contracts. This means, that when government officials are corrupt, the economy as a whole is greatly affected, however this is not the case in the western world. For example, 80 % of our development budget comes from government. The rest of 20% is given to us from donor agencies such as foreign countries so we do not have enough to even support our development needs such as roads, health, education or in some cases housing for our people.
So when that 80% in misappropriated we are left without the basics and our development suffers a great deal. For instance, in the case explained earlier regarding the road in Mokono, that 24 billion Ugandan shilling misappropriated is lost forever if my department cannot trace and recover it, the road which was needed to connect a development hotspot delayed or even abandoned, the business people in Mokono are therefore deprived, the economy suffers and development hindered, the road will have to wait until the Uganda government can find another 24 billion Uganda shilling or it may be even shelved completely for another more pressing developmental goal. So corruption hinders Africa a lot more than it does other more developed countries with larger private sectors.
Muyiwa of Premier Radio: Finally Madame IGG how would you like fellow Christians to uphold you in prayer?
Madame IGG: First and foremost I would like COURAGE to perform my job to the best of my ability. Next, I would like WISDOM, to be able to apply the knowledge gained in the best possible way and that consequent actions are just, fair and appropriate. Thirdly, I would like prayer for security and SAFETY for myself and my family.
Africa Hopes in Christ prayer points for you to consider this month
- For more Christians in positions of power and influence in African countries
- For corruption to be curtailed drastically in Africa
- Prayer against corruption in Tanzania as requested by our sister Franca
- Prayer for Nigeria’s new President Mohammadu Buhari (image below) – for integrity, honesty, wisdom and genuine love for the Nigerian nation.
- Let us pray for a children’s home in Ghana called Shekinah that houses 25 children aged from 2 to 22 years old. Wisdom for Ellen the Manager and her staff of house mothers. And for each individual child to have a real encounter with Christ resulting in a spirit filled led life fullfilling their God ordained purpose. We also pray for healing for those of the children who have encounter sexual abuse in the past. Let us bring to God and ask for the success of a gardening project which will enable the home to become self sufficient. As requested by our Brother and sister Will and Sue.
- Prayer for a complete end to the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and wisdom to apply lessons learnt so as to prevent a recurrence.
Further Africa Hopes in Christ prayer points
- At present AHIC is still awaiting a decision on its application with the Charity Commission. All our aspirations hang on us being acceptable as a charity with a charity registration number. Please pray for success in this area.
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GOD BLESS and THANK YOU Prayer For Africa Friends.
All our love
Yma and Prayer For Africa Friends
If you believe
And I believe
And we together pray
The Holy Spirit will come down
And Africa will be saved