Local Gov't Minister Decries Absence of Inspectors

The Local Government Act mandates the local government ministry to oversee all local governments through the Directorate of Local Government Inspection.

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The Local Government State Minister, Jenipher Namuyangu has decried the absence of inspectors and adequate resources to carry out routine inspections in local governments.

According to the minister, this would help to detect and deter possible administrative crisis at different local governments across the country.

Apparently, several local governments are entangled in a series of squabbles majorly between technical staff and the political leaders. 

Politicians accuse technical staff of maladministration and corruption, which often results in skirmishes and affects service delivery in many areas.

The recent incidents occurred in Amudat, Lyantonde, Mitooma districts and Nansana Municipality, which prompted the intervention of the ministry. 

The Local Government Act mandates the local government ministry to oversee all local governments through the Directorate of Local Government Inspection.  

The major objective of the directorate is to undertake systematic verification on adherence to established legal and policy frameworks, regulations, guidelines, procedures, and rules to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of local governments.

However, Namuyangu says they are faced with a problem of low staffing at the Directorate, which is partly responsible for the endless internal strife in local governments.  

She says the inspection unit that comprises the District and Urban Inspection Departments has only 10 inspectors who must run around all local governments in 134 districts and 33 municipalities. 

Namuyangu also notes that even the few officials at the ministry are under facilitated.  

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She advises different players in local governments to keep in touch with the ministry and stop waiting for matters to get out of proportion before they forward them.

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During a recent interview, Andrew Otim Kibwota, the Commissioner in Charge of Urban Inspections confirmed that the directorate is overstretched. He however, said they try their level best to handle to deliver on their mandate. 

Kibwota also noted that most of the bickering in several local governments is common as the country draws to elections. 

“You hear reports coming almost everywhere most of which have one common dominator of politicians seeking transfer of technical staff more so the town clerks and chief administrative officers. This is not new all,” he said.  

Adding that, “the only challenge is that at times politicians overstep their mandate and dismiss technical staff who drag local governments to courts of law.”  

Kibwota notes that there is need for politicians and technocrats to learn to work together since they are serving the same population. He disclosed that the inspection directorate has also developed early warning mechanisms to help in handling disputes proactively.

Through its scorecard on local government performance and service delivery, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) has repeatedly singled out political wrangles as the major hindrance to service delivery in several districts over the years.