The Ministry of Local Government on Friday last week handed over 16 Ford Ranger double cabins to chief administrative officers of the newly created districts of Bugweri, Bunyangabu, Butebo, Kagadi, Kakumiru, Kapelebyong, Kasanda, Kikuube, Kwania, Nabilatuk, Namiswindwa, Omoro, Rubanda, Pakwach, Rukiga and Kyotera. The ceremonywhich took place at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Sports ground was Presided over by the Minister of Local Government Hon. Tom Butime who said this shows the government’s commitment in decentralizing service delivery in order to promote good governance and participatory democracy; enhancing transparency and accountability and to foster economic empowerment with the ultimate aim of economic transformation and eradicating poverty from the masses.
“ The decentralization policy was well crafted to ensure that Governments exists at all levels up to the grass roots with the main purpose of ensuring that citizens are well served with all services ranging from provision of traditional basic services to conflict resolution, risk management and public safety.” The minister said.
He also echoed his vote of thanks to the Local Government leaders particularly the District Chairpersons and the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) for the central role they played in shouldering the responsibility of providing services to the people on behalf of the central government. Butime also said that it has been a long lasting pledge and commitment by the president and his government to provide Local Government leaders with the means of transport to enable them execute their core mandate of monitoring service delivery in their area of jurisdiction. He also revealed plans by government to provide transport facilities for city mayors, Municipal mayors, CAOs, Town clerks, District and Municipal speakers, sub county chiefs, parish chiefs, parish chairpersons and village chairpersons at the same function.
The minister also said that the ministry was in the final stages of procuring 2000 motorcycles for leaders of the lower local governments but the processed was halted by parliament following complaints by suppliers who genuinely lost the bidding process who said the requirements were restrictive and being customized to disadvantage them.
The permanent secretary of the ministry of Local Government Benjamin Kumanya however cautioned the CAOs who were present at the function and urged them to take good care of the vehicles given to them since they are the main custodians and make sure it is used for its intended purpose of service delivery , and in the unlikely event that these vehicles are misused by the leaders for personal purposes, government will not hesitate to withdraw them from the district headquarters since they bear government number plates. He also highlighted that these vehicles were procured from South Africa in record time of just five months at a fee of Ushs3.8Bn and were 26 in number in that 10 are for the inspection department at the ministry, whose mandate is to monitor the activities of local governments throughout the country, and the 16 are for the 16 newly created districts