There is a systematic degradation of the public service institutions in Uganda


There is a systematic degradation of the public service institutions so that they are replaced with ones that the current leadership control and are accountable to only to a few people and not to all Ugandans through sound structures.

In case you are not aware check this out.

1. Health service delivery was starved of funds for several years. Now that the health services were not good, the Health Service delivery and Medicines Monitoring Unit was created under State House or President’s Office to improve health service delivery in the country. It remains to be seen whether health service delivery in the country improved for the five or so years this unit has been in existence. Remember these people are very well paid and they account to no one (except the President) for the funds they use.

2. The former Kampala City Council was starved of funds for several years to make whoever cared believe that the institution was inappropriate. It was replaced by an Authority that does not account to Ugandans nor Parliament but to one person (the President). When the Lord Mayor tried tried to fight for the institution to be accountable to other institutions in the country you saw how they succeeded in silencing him using all institutions at the disposal of government (police, judiciary e.t.c) They one time even wanted to use the IGG to get their objectives. Now KCCA only accounts to the Head of State through the Minister for Kampala and not Ugandans through the Council and the Uganda Parliament. So much money is being pumped into the Authority. The question remains. Where does the money they don’t use? Isn’t KCCA being used as a conduit for something else? Your guess is as good as mine. At least for Kampalans have something to smile about. The city looks more beautiful than want it was five years ago. But this comes at a price. Other sectors of government are being starved of funds. What is the use of seeing some semblance of beauty when the Authority is being used as a conduit for something does not readily meet one’s eyes?

3. Agriculture was the first to be systematically degraded over the years and NAADS was created as a parallel institution. When NAADS did not meet the objectives for which it was created then you can see or read what is happening. NAADS is going to be given or has already been given to the military which again reports to only the President. There is therefore a clear trend of things: to kill the traditional institutions and create new ones that only report to one person.

All other sectors are affected in a similar fashion. The evidence is there for you to see if you took time to explore. It is this trend of things that is killing service delivery every where in the country.

When we ask why is there no service delivery, answers will always be there. “It is people on the ground who are not working or are negligent of their duties”. And to the not so keen eye, this answer makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. That answer which readily catches one’s eye is just a small fraction of a bigger problem; a problem that is systematic and intended to be that way. With the current orientation of things towards the centre of power (with no checks and balances) service delivery can not improve. Sectors that have sound checks and balance are starved of funds. Funds are only channeled through sectors that have parallel institutions and those sectors whose expenditure plans are categorized as classified and therefore not subject to Parliament scrutiny.

In my view Public Service delivery collapsed the day the current leadership started tinkering with its organization. To resuscitate it one needs to make a U-turn on the mushrooming parallel institutions and hand back the accountability where it belongs. Otherwise public service delivery will go on to die and be buried.

What you saw as bats in the health centre is just a tip of an iceberg. Not that the workers don’t see them. Not that the workers don’t know what to do about them. Not that the lack of funds is the problem. Nooooo! Funds are either not released to do work or when released they are released late so that they can go back to the centre. There is a financial regulation that funds not utilized by a certain date are supposed to be sent back to the centre. Don’t you think the funds that are never released in the first instance and those that find their way back to the top are the very funds that support our troops in SS or do all sorts of politicking? I have not even tackled the issue of public servants not being paid for several months or their demoralizing pathetic salaries. We know for sure that the country has the money. How then can we sustain our troops in SS if we did not have the money? The government has the money but the good will to focus on what benefits the common man is what is lacking. It is only a few people who are benefitting from the current state of affairs that want the trend to continue. As long as they are benefitting the others can starve and continue begging untill the end of time.

I hope you can find some of the answers to your question(s) in my submission.

Kind regards,

Dr.Ibrah Ssendagire

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