Monday, January 24, 2011

DP promises to take services closer to people

By Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi (email the author)
Posted Monday, January 24 2011 at 00:00

Norbert Mao


Any ship without radar is a lost ship! A country without presidential term limits, a country where there are good policies, and laws but not followed, a country where districts are created each time there is a necessity to gain political patronage is a lost country!

Uganda is governed under a unitary system based on decentralisation. A well managed and implemented decentralisation system can move services closer to the people. The people elect their leaders at local levels. This makes them more accountable to the people they serve. But unfortunately under the NRM regime, decentralisation and district creation has become the epicentre of corruption.

Decentralisation comes with its pros and cons. Fragmentation of district in guise of bringing services closer to the people without plan is more dangerous than having none. Granting districts without the money to fund the administration does more harm to the populace, besides creating conflict. It’s like giving a plate of food without food!
According to chapter on sub-national development under the National Development Plan (2010-2014-15), the visionary foundation is a transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous county within 30 years. How can this be achieved with creation of myriads of districts without facilities. Many districts still harbour staff that sits/works in ramshackle structures or no structures at all?

How can it be achieved with institutionalised corruption where perpetrators go unmolested? DP will build a lean government that will ensure better service delivery with zero tolerance for corruption. Currently, creation of districts means bulging Executive and Parliament. From 56 districts that were there in 2002 to 80 in 2008, with the campaigns and Presidential pledges districts rose to something like 112. Due to bulky staff in created of districts, the President awards over 112 RDCs with their deputies!
This combined with Presidential advisers and other staff, the number is way above 300. The figure that goes to support the State House budget is far above Shs90 billion.

In order to build effective state institutions, DP will reduce the bloated public administration in Uganda. The Norbert Mao DP administration will put in place lean central and local government. We will review the Constitution within the first 100 days to grant federal system based on democracy and good governance. This will cut the waste and inefficiency in government.

DP pledges to stop the indiscriminate creation of public administration units, review and rationalise the appointment of RDCs and presidential advisers, run a public service focused on efficient customer service delivery; engage in career development of public service employees at the work place.
Since the enactment of decentralisation policy in 1993, Uganda was focused on sub-national development. DP will not make district creation a den of rewarding cadres but rather the people. Fragmentation of district is like digging a hole to fill a hole! It’s ridiculous! Sub counties must be supported through decentralised districts to have the basic facilities like a mini or fully fledged referral hospitals with adequate facilities. DP will ensure that jobs are created for the youth, and the people. A Norbert Mao administration will promote rural development. Sub-counties and counties will have the services they deserve.

When chasing a hyena, we are told to reserve energies in case it turns to chase us! Let’s be mindful of the actions we take now. If it’s not sustainable, the entire act will boomerang! Democratic Party will be the new beginning Uganda yearns for, not the old wine in a new bottle.

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