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COVID-19: MORALS OVER EMPATHY IN THE MISUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. A CASE OF UGANDA IN COMPARISON WITH SELECTED EAST AFRICAN STATES, PP. 1-11

This paper investigates the extent to which public resources, allocated for addressing the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, were misappropriated despite the dire need to combat the effect of the pandemic in Uganda. Using a qualitative approach, it employs a multipronged technique to analyse relevant documentation such as newspaper reports, audit reports, case studies and written sources to examine the different responses and perspectives. Inevitably, the novel coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on Uganda’s economy with unprecedented levels of deterioration in socio-economic systems like healthcare, education, poverty and hunger.

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CORRUPTION IN KENYA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE RIGHT TO HEALTH: LESSONS LEARNT AND FUTURE PROSPECTS, PP. 12-24

Kenya has made positive strides in fighting corruption through signing and ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Prevention and Combating Corruption. These Conventions oblige Kenya to take measures to prevent and criminalise corruption and related offences. In addition, Kenya has enacted vast anti-corruption laws and established independent agencies like: the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

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THE SHORT-LIVED STORY OF MEXICO’S SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES: AN ANTI-CORRUPTION CANCELLATION OR A POLITICAL DISCOURSE? PP. 25-48

This article analyses the cancellation of the 2016 Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a project that sought to increase the economic competitivity of selected territories by attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) through tax benefits and logistical platform commitments; being abrogated in 2019 and relocated to the 10 SEZs supporting the Trans-Isthmic Railroad in 2021 (TIR-SEZs). The paper discusses that, under the façade of anti-corruption, the current President of Mexico (2018-2024) is continuing neoliberal practices; the same ones he has called to accountability for being prone to corruption.

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REAPING “BUMPER HARVESTS” DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: INTERROGATING THE DYNAMICS OF CORRUPTION DURING THE PROCUREMENT OF RELIEF AND HEALTHCARE ITEMS IN UGANDA, PP. 49-79

The discovery of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19) in Wuhan, China was considered a Chinese problem by Ugandans until confirmation of the first positive test in the country, in March 2020. The government went into panic mode by closing the country’s borders, tracking down all contacts, testing them and treating them, imposing a nationwide lockdown and a curfew, prohibiting public gatherings more than five people and suspension of all economic activities except the most essential.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE LEAKAGES THROUGH CORRUPTION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN AFRICA: THE CASE OF ZIMBABWE, PP. 80-96

Zimbabwe has over the years experienced rampant corruption in all sectors of the economy. At local government level, there have been several allegations of corruption in areas such as revenue collection, procurement and land acquisitions among others. The magnitude of corruption is extreme especially in revenue collection. Most funds collected by local government revenue officials hardly reach municipalities’ coffers and are not accounted for. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has further created a breeding ground for corruption in revenue collection at local government level due to economic doldrums.

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VEILED INTENT OR ADVANCING CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO EDUCATION? THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENTS FOR EXTRA LESSONS IN ZIMBABWE’S EDUCATION SYSTEM, PP. 97-115

 Extra lessons in Zimbabwe were initially designed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to assist learners with lagging aspects of their formal school learning areas. However, in the past few years, extra lessons have taken a new dimension, including the intent to reinforce a learner’s knowledge and ability to understand lessons taught. Although payment for extra lessons in the formal education setting was declared illegal by the government, the practice continues to be a challenge in Zimbabwe as payments are still demanded for extra lessons conducted in and outside the school premises.

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FROM FOOD TO CASH RELIEF: HOW PREPARED ARE UGANDA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES TO COUNTER CORRUPTION IN COVID-19 CASH TRANSFERS? PP. 116-126

 In July 2021, Uganda commenced the disbursement of telephonic cash transfers to the vulnerable urban poor, most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a policy shift from food relief to cash transfers to the vulnerable. Accountability hurdles had previously beset food relief interventions with allegations that the funds meant for food relief had been misappropriated. Some of these allegations led to the arrest of officials from the Office of the Prime Minister by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

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GRAPPLING WITH THE SCOURGE OF MONEY LAUNDERING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN SOUTH AFRICA, PP. 127-152

The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately presented new opportunities for perpetrators to exploit. As such, hefty amounts of economic crimes such as money laundering and money laundering threats were committed from the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, up to date of publication of this article. This criminal activity is highly likely to continue unless proficient solutions are efficiently activated and essentially carried out. This article sets out the ML and ML threat findings in South Africa as well as internationally during the pandemic, the South African anti-money laundering (AML) framework status quo, and what the way forward could be. The ultimate purpose of this article is to attempt to provide enlightenment on the topic and to offer thought and action provoking solutions on how similar future problems could be solved and addressed more effectively. It could also be a crucial contribution towards the government and society at large to be more prepared to not only grapple with, but also conquer the criminality of certain individuals.

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