Very soon every tribe will be demanding for ebyaffe and a ministry as is the case with karamoja,teso, luwero, women, and others,Because they know it is easy for Pres. Museveni to carve out more ministries for them. Even the Ugandans in diaspora are now demanding for a ministry and i wonder if Abbey Semuwemba would be the minister! Remember we have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If it is weak, I would rather call for its strengthening instead of agitating for ‘diaspora’ ministry!!
The Government of Uganda set up Diaspora Services Department (DSD) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).The aim of the department is to coordinate Diaspora issues. The mission of the department is to provide an enabling environment and relevant services for the Ugandan Diaspora to effectively participate in Uganda’s development and to promote and protect their interests in the host countries. The key strategic objectives of the Diaspora Services Department include but are not limited to:
A. Mobilise the Diaspora to transfer specialist knowledge, skills and technologies to Uganda for accelerated development.
B. Promote participation of the Diaspora in development of Uganda’s systems and processes of good governance.
C. Promote and protect the interests of Ugandan nationals in the Diaspora in line with best international practice.
D. Ensure timely and adequate availability of financial, human and logistical resources essential for cost-effective implementation of DSD’s approved work plans.
DSD should have been given autonomous powers and with an independent vote. Placing it under a limping ministry was a strategic mistake because its vibrancy is watered down by an inefficient ministry.
I know Ugandans are sick of creating new this and that. i think there are 2 points here (i) how to harness remittances from Ugandans working abroad (ii) How to organize as a country to better utilise that resource. Remittances is a resource that is bringing in nearly US$1 billion into the economy. MOFA can hire an officer or a lean department that can take care of that. I think that resource needs to be rethought, better planned and coordinated to harness that money to work for Uganda. The point should be whatever name you call it, a ministry, authority, whatever….I think we need a small but effective organisation that will help us harness remittances and provide better services for people who work and remit back home! Diaspora bond is a baby step we are just taking; read UNCTAD 2012 Report and UNDP Human Development report 2009, and you see what other countries are doing! True we need to do more- but not create ‘diaspora’ ministry!!
We create ministries at the same rate as districts. We create constituencies in much the same rate as silvery of babies. Of course I am picking extremes to illustrate the point, but we all agree that a lean and effective government is better than a bunch of sleeping crowd. What remains to be seen is a tangible commitment to do just that. Lets start with Ministers, MPs, RDCs, districts et al.
I am for a lean Government all through. Part of the reason why many groups feel like that is the collapse of the service delivery system in Uganda. Now groups think if they are directly connected to the center, they can get service delivery.That’s how dis govt has blinded people into believing dat to get something,u must have a new political entity specifically set to serve yo interests i.e new ministry,district,chiefdom,
village etc which is all hot air.
I believe that if there was an efficient government that cherishes accountability, good governance and rule of law, all Ugandans would be served efficiently. I have always said that not every Ugandan’s concern can be resolved through creating a political office as an intervention. If for example, Ministry of Foreign Affair had an efficient minister with all our foreign missions funded and staffed well, Ugandans in the diaspora would not be begging for a ministry. Our embassies under ministry of foreign affairs are perennially understaffed, underfunded, under motivated, name it some of the premises need urgent renovation, am told in some Ugandan embassy even simple things like photocopiers are non functional.
Poor service delivery has now been renamed effective representation.We’ve been made to believe that to get anything,you must reach the fountain of power yourself and not the people mandated to do the job.Police&Prisons will soon jump on this wagon that they want representatives in the House.Later on we shall Bodabodas,Private security farms,Taxis,Buses etc demanding for their MPs.The earlier we stopped this divide&multiply game in our country the better for our Economy!
The current political infrastructure is most likely unwilling and incapable of effecting such positive change. Both the legislature and executive are in self preservation mode. My view is that we are overly represented and overly governed and yet under serviced.