CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AND ATTITUDE CHANGE SAYS PM RUGUNDA.
The prime minister of Uganda RtS. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda has called for a mindset change among local government leaders if the decentralization of the sector is to be fully realized. “Mindset and attitude challenges in both the technical and political wings of local government where leaders are still only focusing on service delivery, while neglecting local economic development. Local economic development is important and is meant to improve the welfare of the people trough identification of income generating enterprises,” he said. The Prime minister made these remarks while opening the first local government conference on decentralization ran under the theme Decentralization trends, achievements and the way forward for local governments in Uganda” on Tuesday at Hotel Africana in Kampala, where local government leaders, members of the civil society from Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)with funding from USAID and UKaid.
Rugunda also underscored the challenge of poor information and records management which has contributed to delayed decision making and in some cases wrong decisions being made at the expense of the local people, which in the long run has affected accountability and transparency which are vital to the implementation of decentralization in Uganda. He further said that poor intra and inter-governmental coordination where by the stakeholders operating local governments ranging from ministries, departments, agencies and NGOs have failed to coordinate the decentralization efforts.
The USAID Country representative Patricia Rader also cited mismanagement of funds meant for local government activities and lack of accountability as the major hiccup affecting decentralization in the country and called for closed partnership between government and CSOs if the decentralization projects are to be fully implemented. “Too many school construction projects are never completed or substandard due to mismanagement of resources and that means many students are unable to complete school and fail to reach their full potential and contribute to their communities,” she said.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of local government in partnership with Advocates Coalition for Develop and Environment (ACODE) with support from the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKaid).