Manifesto Implementation: Presidency Minister bashes corrupt district officials

“Fellow Ugandans, Uganda belongs to us and we have to put right what is right,” Esther Mbayo – Presidency Minister says on Wednesday while closing a one day manifesto implementation conference in Kampala, attended by RDCs, LC5 chairpersons, town clerks from Greater Kampala Metropolitan Areas, different ministry officials, among others.

Resident District Commisoners [RDCs] within Greater Kampala Metropolitan Areas [GKMA] has cried out for being sidelined in monitoring government projects in their districts.

The RDCs, who are chief monitors of government projects, said “a lot of information” is always hidden by district technocrats, making their efforts in exercising their mandates effortless.

Stakeholders in different capacities listen to a presentation inside Cabinet Liberay Wednesday afternoon.

They further added that miscommunication – both in the district and ministry level, and continuous shunning of their offices by ministry officials – is high.

This was vehemently refuted by an official from the Ministry of Education and Sports, who says: “Procedure says CAO is overall head in the district, DEO and Chairperson LC5 – those three. It’s now upon ourselves, and also as a ministry to pay courtesy call on the RDC. I think it’s not illegal to do so,” education ministry official says.

On Wednesday, in Kampala – at least seventy governmnet officials attended the NRM manifesto implementation conference for fiscal year 2016 – 2021, and a number of presentations were made.

Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development data reveals that since fiscal year 2016/17 to date, 19,722 projects under Youth Livelihood Funds has been financed, with 237,000 youth groups benefiting.

In terms of percentage, 46% females are beneficiaries, with recovery standing at 69%. The data also reveals that so far, Uganda shillings 9.62 billion has been recovered.

On Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program [UWEP], a total of 9,381 projects financed, benefiting 117,551 women – with funds recovery at 80.1%.

Of the shared figures, 390 women groups have paid back 100% of the funds advanced to them.

On SAGE, the Gender ministry further reveals that 201,168 elder persons have benefitted, with 79,501 being males and 121,667 females

However, participants, especially the RDCs blamed Gender Ministry for promoting corruption in financing youth projects which they say key information at district is hidden for their use.

Director Manifesto Implementation Unit – Office of the President Willis Bashaasa [1st R, standing] with Kampala Minister and RCC [L]. Courtesy Photo.

Responding to comments, many citing district leaders as “graft promoters”, Minister Esther Mbayo says Uganda has a lenient leader in President Museveni, adding, “otherwise, he would have sacked many of us.”

According to Mbayo, Uganda has got enough laws and policies, but “we are not putting it in place.”

“Many issues I noted in this meeting is disconnection among stakeholders. Remember we are all working for a common goals,” she says.

“Why do you hide information for the RDCs? We are having questions from the communities because we are not working as a team – the CAOs, LC5 chairpersons all doing their own things. You’re the people who’re overseeing the implementation of the manifesto,” Minster, who says that [Wednesday] was not her day to change her face, noted.

However, visibly, her face turned and she spoke bitterly. “If you’re not corrupt, why hide information?”

“So many countries benchmark on Uganda and they do well but for us we are corrupt and failing.”

The Minster didn’t spare National Resistance Movement [NRM] cadres either, revealing that: “We’re busy abusing and accusing one another. Even our own are accusing and abusing government. We shall not bring angels to do what is good.”

On allegations that Gender Ministry officials (some) connived with district leaders to swindle funds and register ghost groups, she says Cabinet has already passed a Paper to handle that.

“Gender, we have gotten a lot of bad information on you and when we want information you hide. With Ministry of Gender, we are coming with a policy where money is deposited on beneficiaries bank accounts,” she reveals, attracting praises from the house.

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