Most of us will have their story about the poor, even non-existent services from some government entity. Usually it matters not whether such a service is directly from a government department, commission or authority or is contracted out to a private sector provider. Poor service delivery in the country is so frequent that it no longer makes news!
And so with that in mind, I went at great length to prepare myself for the renewal of my driving permit. I downloaded the requisite documents from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) website and printed them out just before heading home on Tuesday evening.
I went to the hospital on my way for a doctor to tell me and the licensing authority that I was in reasonably good health to drive a car, etc, for I paid a Shs30,000 fee.
On Wednesday, I cancelled all appointments to go and chase after my driving permit. At 9.30am. I was at the URA assessment centre at Diamond Trust Bank on Kampala Road. Surprisingly, I was assessed within 15 minutes.
Lining to pay the assessed fee of Shillings130,000 took longer, but I was out of there by 10.15 am. Onto a taxi to Kyambogo. A surprisingly pleasant askari looked at my papers and directed me to the receiving window.
There, a pleasant lady took my papers and directed me to another window marked C. Perched atop a stool, I was finger-printed and photographed by another pleasant lady, who told me to proceed to window 13 where another lady awaited to serve me.
Anyway I paid the required fee and I was told to wait for my permit. “How many days?” I inquired. “Fourty minutes or an hour”, I was informed. Please wait outside.
Later, I checked the monitor and there was my name under “permits ready for collection”. To the collection window I dashed. Five minutes later, I had a brand new driving permit. I looked at my watch. It was 11.35am on the same day! I am still pinching myself to prove it is not a dream.
Yes, a government service can be delivered efficiently and timely in this capital city of a country where poor service is the norm, not the exception.
Congratulations Ministry of Works and Transport and your contractor at Kyambogo. Other ministries, departments and agencies could learn a thing or two from you.