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African Social Science Review

Abstract

The findings of this study into the complex problem of corruption in Uganda dispel the pervasive and popular view that corruption in East Africa’s third largest economy is an exclusive behavior monopolized by public officials. This study finds that corruption is engendered by an unholy alliance between citizens desperate to access services and public officials eager to exact a price on services they are obliged to freely provide. This study determined that corruption in Uganda largely depends upon collaboration by citizens and public officials, hence changing the simplest meaning of corruption from the abuse of public office to an act that benefits the community. Using the Institutional Analysis and Development framework (IAD), the primary purpose of this quantitative comparative study was to examine to what extent citizens and public officials differed in levels of their perception of corruption and the degree of the forms of corruption in Uganda. Using a survey of 12,000 citizens and 670 public officials, we found that citizens and public officials were slightly different in their perception of corruption, but corruption is a collaborative endeavor involving many behaviors that are discussed in detail. Key recommendations are to adopt technological inter-faces, reduce work incentives, and subject potential candidates to prove suitability before working in public service. Future research agendas are also discussed.

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