As the NRM celebrates 37 years of leading Uganda, Ugandans are looking back what the NRM government under the able leadership of President Yoweri Museveni has been able to do. Some say nothing has been done but all Ugandans including those in opposition know that something has been done and all what has been done in all these years are visible to the public and I think that’s the reason as to why the NRM still enjoys alot of support in all parts of the country. The achievement of the National Resistance Movement among many includes building good roads. It is now possible to move from border to border on a good tarmac road, this wasn’t the case before, Ugandans struggled to transport their agricultural produce. Now the biggest issue is on the community access roads which are supposed to be maintained frequently by districts but because of the weather and economic situations sometimes these are not maintained but a number of them remain motorable.
Different measures have been put in place by the government to bring services closer to the people, The NRM has remained focused on solving the issues that affect the most common person basing on its manifestos. One of the wise decisions that the President has ever made was to appoint the Resident District Commissioners and their deputies. These ones have helped the central government to keep the local governments in check, especially on the issues of accountability and making sure that there’s value for money in all the projects that the central government and the local governments funds. If the office of the RDC wasn’t existing in the districts Public funds would be ending into the pockets of the few hence keeping the country backward in terms of development. Whereas it is public secret that people still embezzle these funds but it becomes very difficult in instances where the RDC gets to know about it, most people end up in prison while others lose their jobs.
The office of the Resident District Commissioners exists under article 203 of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and these ones are appointed by the President. They’re mandated to monitor all government programs and also be the Chairpersons of the District security committees whose membership include the police, UPDF and the intelligence organisations. The RDCs have done a tremendous job in keeping peace and stability which one is of the biggest achievement of the National Resistance Movement. They coordinate the activities of the security organizations to make sure that there’s peace in their areas of jurisdiction. In instances where the local people are being mistreated by the rich and the powerful it is usually the RDC who comes up to help and make sure that the common person gets justice.
Corruption has been the biggest challenge of government presently whereby unpatriotic government officials are the ones implementing projects worth billions of Shillings, these ones do not not mind about giving service to the people and doing the work which they’re meant to do but instead they focus on the possibility of having a share of the funds which are usually meant to work on the issues that affect the people in their communities, they usually collaborate with the civil servants to execute these dirty deals and alot money has been swindled in that kind of deals. The communities which are vigilant have always reported shoddy work to the office of the RDC and the RDC usually intervenes by stopping construction to continue until the contractors do what they’re supposed to do. Unfortunately in situations where the RDC stops curtails, they’ve always found a problem with politicians who make false reports against them to their supervisors and they end up being transferred hence giving a chance to thieves to continue misusing government Money. Most performing Resident District Commissioners have had issues with the politicians in the districts and the contractors who do shoddy work. This is why it has become difficult for government to stop corruption because whoever boldly stands to fight corruption is also fought in turn.
There was a time when land had become a serious problem in Uganda with eviction happening almost every day and big numbers of people being evicted from their land. People had lost hope and they were attacking each other. This was mostly brought by courts which were delaying cases with reasons well known to them and others were releasing evictions orders without visiting the locus and understanding the issues about that particular land that people are fighting for. The RDC’s have since carried the burden of solving some of these land cases with local leaders and clan leaders. These land issues can ably be solved by negotiations and mediations using a win-win strategy. The courts should surely change their strategy or maybe the judiciary should think about creating a court that is solely meant to hear cases of land and those courts should be put in all regions in the country so that they schedule the land cases that have remained in courts for many years as people conflict while others choose to kill each other.
After every general elections, the District NRM party offices usually closes and the officials of the party usually can’t be traced. it is the office of the Resident District Commissioners that answer most queries from the party members given the fact the RDC represent the President who is the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement. Even the mobilisation is easy with the support from the committed Resident District Commissioners. So as the NRM celebrates thirty seven years of existence, I think the Resident District Commissioners have done a tremendous work towards it’s success in one way or the other. Also, Oftenly disagreements erupt between leaders within the Party in the districts, it is usually the RDC that intervenes by mediating the two conflicting parties to agree with each other and work together for the success of the Party. If these conflicts are left unattended to usually the party ends up losing the elections in that particular area.
On top of being the chief monitor of all the government programs, the RDC is also the Chief communicator of the government within the district and these days the RDCs have also added on themselves the burden of supervising the civil servants who are never at their workstations. The public frequently report to the office of the RDC health workers, teachers and different civil servants who never show up for work and yet they continue to be paid their allowances and other privileges. Legally it would be the work of the chief administrative officers to make sure that the officers in lower local governments report for duty, it should also be their mandate to make sure that those who are Indisciplined are brought before the disciplinary committees and actions be taken but it’s different now because the Chief administrative officers seem to have forgotten about that role and I don’t think there’s any member of the public who reports to them such kind of behaviors of different civil servants who have forgotten about their role yet they earn monthly salaries and even demand for increment.
The RDCs should however be respected. Being senior civil servants and considering the decisions they make while in office, the way they’re dropped leaves many of them embarrassed and cursing the day they were appointed to that office. In some districts, they people they no serve no longer respect them because they know that an RDC can even be dismissed on phone or on social media. Most of them work and live under fear and have they have lost confidence of making critical decisions because of knowing that they can be dropped anytime. If this can be sorted and the RDCs get confidence on their jobs, it would be easier for them to execute their duties and also fill up the gaps that could be existing as of now. The people who take advantage of that kind working conditions would also know that it is difficult for one to be dropped and the disrespect would surely reduce.
The writer is a deputy RDC Sheema District.
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