By: Ismael Kasooha
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has tasked local government leaders to passionately serve the Country in line with the four principles of the National Resistance Movement-NRM ideology.
“Local Governments are service delivery engines and your work directly impacts on the majority of Ugandans. And through let me thank you and all Ugandans for electing an able leader, President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM leaders countrywide,” said Nabbanja.
She said that Local Council leaders right from the LC I to the LC V and Mayors play a pivotal role in the implementation of government programmes and service delivery.
The training attracted over 176 local leaders who include all LC V Chairpersons, City and Municipality Mayors and selected few District Speakers from across the country.
Nabbanja asked the Local Government leaders to stick to the four core principles of leadership of Democracy, Patriotism, Pan –Africanism and Social-economic transformation.
“Whatever you do as leaders, you need to observe these principles because they will help you deliver services in line with the NRM manifesto,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja made the remarks while delivering a keynote address to all LC V chairpersons, City and Municipal Mayors and selected speakers who were undergoing a one-week transformational leadership course at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyankwanzi.
She challenged the leaders to lead by example and desist from coercing the people they lead.
The premier explained that Uganda was a democratic country arguing that even those who castigate it participate in elections and are serving the people.
“We have people who keep complaining about democracy here in Uganda but these very same people participate in the process of democracy and are elected to several positions democratically,” said Nabbanja.
A section of LC V Chairpersons having alight moment during the Training at NALI
The Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi expressed concern about the poor conditions the Local Government leaders are working in but assured them that the government was thinking about them.
Magyezi said that Members of Parliament were given vehicles and Ministers had government vehicles but the local leaders for the last two years did not even have a bicycle to use at the District, City or Municipal level.
“Its inconceivable and not easy to understand that two years into service these people do not have either a bicycle, motorcycle or a vehicle,” noted Magyezi.
On top of that, Magyezi said that the Local Council leaders were the least paid public servants in the country citing the LC I chairpersons who are paid only shs10,000 monthly.
He said that the newly created cities countrywide were having challenges because they wanted to occupy the existing District Headquarters yet the districts did not have money to construct other structures.
“The LC V Chairman Gulu District is being threatened with censure motion because he has told the councilors they should shift from their District Headquarters because they are located in the City. These people do not have even Shs100m to start construction,” said Magyezi.
According to Magyezi, the training was aimed at enhancing coordination and also sharing experiences for better service delivery.
The State Minister for Local Government Victoria Businge Rusoke called for action from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) to fight syndicated corruption in Local Governments.
“I want the IG with all its seniority to investigate the syndicated corruption in Local Governments. Otherwise these people are rejoicing that no one can touch them,” said Rusoke.
She added that Accounting Officers intentionally transfer funds far above those supposed to be released to some Local Governments and later follow it up and it was not shown anywhere that they had accounted for such monies.
The Director National Leadership Institute (NALI) Brig. Gen. Charles Kisembo said that such retreats are intended to do a holistic transformation of leaders.
“Our mission has always been to train actual and potential leaders who are visionary, patriotic, knowledgeable and in position to drive Uganda’s social economic agenda,” said Kisembo.
Kisembo told the Prime Minister that NALI had begun producing food from the farm to reduce costs of buying food and also save money to be invested in other ventures.
“Right now we are focusing on farming and value addition as a mission of addressing the institution’s welfare needs. Today we are eating our own food because there is no reason why we should buy food when we are seated on 12km squared land. We are now focusing on the accommodation of the soldiers,” said Kisembo.
The LC V Chairperson of Kagadi District Yosia Ndibwami thanked the government for such a timely retreat which had helped them refocus on service delivery.
“Some people claim that when you come to Kyankwanzi you are indoctrinated, which is completely not true. What is being taught here is about nationalism, patriotism, social economic transformation and democracy which are pillars of development,” said Ndibwami.