Government has charged Resident District Commissioners (RDCs); their Deputies, Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and District Internal Security Officers (DISOs) to adopt a holistic approach to their respective mandates in order to be able to play an increasingly lead role in the implementation of the National Vision 2040.
Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Planning, said that unless the above officers and indeed public servants across board adopt “a mindset change, embrace accountability and are willing to offer actual leadership”; effective service delivery in local governments and grassroots will not be tenable in a timely manner.
“As a country we plan every five (5) years; we have statistics and related budgets to support our activities, what we lack is translating the plans within our voluminous documents into actual deliverables. For this to happen, it will take local government leadership and public servants to embrace the challenge and aim to deliver,” he added.
Hon. Bahati was addressing the RDCs, DRDCs, CAOs and DISOs during a Retreat at the National Leadership Institute at Kyankwazi yesterday, Tuesday 14, 2015.
To illustrate the import of mindset change, the Minister pointed out that statistics from the recent population census reveled that at 34.9 million Ugandans; this represented an increase of 10.7 million persons since 2002.
“It cannot be business as usual when the figures are so revealing and call for a proactive approach to respond to such growth. Wakiso District, which is relatively new, for example is the most populous at 2.007million persons in Uganda, we cannot plan and continue to lip-service Wakiso yet it is evident that its population more than doubled since 2002.”
The Minister urged the Officers whose core mandate is within Local Governments; to benefit from data, information and resources’ planning that have been put together by such bodies as National Planning Authority (NPA) and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).
“I invite you to derive value out of the data and facts you get; adopt them to service our people. Adopt them to cause and demand for accountability from those assigned to offices of responsibilities. We need a total shift from simplistic approach to work and to adopt a holistic view. You the RDCs, DRDC, CAOs and DISOs can therefore be the agents of change by being its champions.”
Hon. Bahati pointed out sustainable production; productivity, value addition, human capital development, infrastructure development and qualitative, efficient service delivery as core objectives leading Uganda to achieve middle income status by 2020.
He called on the leaders to keep in focus Vision 2040 as the driver for socio-economic transformation and the NRM core principles namely Nationalism; Pan Africanism, Socio-Economic Transformation and Democracy as basis for ensuring delivery of a positive change.
The Minister informed the leaders that their role in ensuring delivery of service is more critical today than ever before.
“Whereas in 1980s the urban population stood at 0.9 million, last year it was at 6.4 million. This year alone we forecast a 9.4million school age population; 6.4 million youths and 1.5 million older and new births respectively. These are not mere numbers but actual demands for services in health; education, energy and transport among others. ”
“As leaders; you are obvious catalysts for change in-services and you should ensure that positive change happens. You are accounting officers, you are supervisors, implementers and you are managers. You are entrusted and therefore it will be adjudged as a failing on your part when you do not deliver in- line with your mandate and available resources.”