Minister cautions RDCs on corruption

Tuesday April 07 2020
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Dialogue. Mukono Residents District Commissioner Fred Bamwiine talks to residents who had flocked to his office for travel permits on April 3. PHOTO BY JESSICA SABANO

The Minister for Presidency, Ms Esther Mbayo, has cautioned Resident District Commissioners (RDC) on soliciting money before issuing out movement permits.
Following President Museveni’s directive on movements recently in some districts, the overwhelming crowds and the level of desperation have led to abuse where movement permits are given to undeserving people to drive around while the people seeking permission to transport sick relatives to hospital are left stranded.

However, Ms Mbayo on Sunday said those are allegations that would look into.
“It’s an allegation but l am moving around. If l get any RDC who is soliciting for money before issuing out the movement permits, I will discipline them,” Ms Mbayo said in Kampala.
On March 30, President Museveni put the country under lockdown, imposed a night curfew and banned all means of transport and said the sick must obtain permission from RDC’s to drive to hospital.

The public has complained that RDCs are never readily available when they are needed.
Mr Elia Kakande, who lost his pregnant wife after walking to hospital, told this newspaper recently: “Museveni told us to seek permission from our RDC if we have patients. But we do not know where he stays and we do not even have his number, what does he expect us to do?”
Ms Mbayo has directed Resident City Commissioners to set up sub-county Covid 19 task forces under the chairmanship of the sub-county chief with the community development officer, among others, to improve on surveillance and quickly respond to emergencies.

“These too should be communicated to the wananchi and their telephone numbers provided to ease communication and reaction to emergencies as some of our people may not easily access the RDC who may be located a distance away from the area,” Ms Mbayo said.
Ms Mbayo said this task force should be in coordination with RDCs.
“RDCs are requested to be accessible 24/7 and in the event that RDCs may not be accessible, they have been guided to leave their telephones to their assistants to be able to receive emergency calls…,” Ms Mbayo said.