A parliamentary committee has called for punishment of Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) who are found ignoring their core duties and engaging in partisan politics.
The Committee on Presidential Affairs noted in its report to Parliament that no action had been taken on an earlier Parliament recommendation for RDCs to be rotated.
Á case in point is the recent national elections where RDCs openly campaigned for the candidates of their choice, dividing the electorates, intimidating and inciting violence,” said Hon. Fred Mwesigye (NRM, Nyabushozi), the Committee Chairperson.
Opposition candidates and members of civil society complained that RDCs campaigned for incumbent candidates at national and lower levels during campaigns for the general elections held on 18th February, 2016.
The Committee on Presidential Affairs covers the Offices of the President, Prime Minister, State House, Uganda Aids Commission, Kampala Capital City Authority and the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity.
Hon. Mwesigye said that the rampant absenteeism from their work stations could be attributed to poor office facilitation and centralisation of the RDC motor vehicle maintenance services at the centre.
“The committee reiterates its earlier recommendation that RDCs should concentrate on their core mandate. They should separate administrative from political issues,” said Hon. Mwesigye, adding that, “they should be vetted before being deployed, be rotated after every two years and be appraised annually to check their performance.”
The Committee also recommended that RDCs and their deputies should have the necessary qualifications required to enable them execute their role of monitoring the implementation of government programmes.
Hon. Joshua Anywarach (Ind., Padyere) said the Committee should have recommended the scrapping of the position of Deputy RDC and have one regional RDC for every region so as to reduce costs.
Parliament Speaker, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga referred the Report the Committee on the Budget for further consideration before a full debate on it is held.
She also advised that MPs prepare a motion for debate by Parliament before a resolution about RDCs is made.
The Committee also recommended proper facilitation to the Internal Security Organisation having observed that the office was not well facilitated in terms of training and transport.
The total budget requirement for the Presidency for the Presidency amounts to UShs 51.4b for both recurrent and development expenditure for the financial year 2016/2017.