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
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.
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
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.