Leaders’ conflicts fuelling  poor services in districts

Mr John Byamukama Kisoke, the Kyegegwa District chairperson, addresses participants during a benchmarking visit to his district on October 6. PHOTO/BILL OKETCH

What you need to know:

  •    With a total funding of $200 million, the DRDIP project is being implemented in the 15 refugee-hosting districts of West Nile, mid-western, south-western, and Acholi sub-regions of Uganda.  

Kyegegwa District chairperson John Byamukama Kisoke has said the existing rift between political leaders in some districts has continued to cripple effective service delivery. 
He cited accusations and clique formation, among others, as key factors crippling service delivery in many districts.  
“The situation has been compounded by the persistent disagreements among councillors, which often leads to the district council’s failures to even approve budgets,’’ Mr Byamukama said. 

He made the remarks while addressing local government leaders during a two-day learning visit by the Lamwo District Council team to Kyegegwa District last Friday. 
Mr Byamukama implored district councillors to desist from conflicts and focus on service delivery, adding that useless fights have contributed to low revenue collection and development. 

“In Kyegegwa, we don’t have council fights.  It has never happened here, we are all together. If we had conflicts here, I don’t think Lamwo [District team] would be here today,” the Kyegegwa boss said.  
“We have never had a scenario like in other districts where the district councillors refuse to pass the budget. When we are planning, our attention goes to our people – the voters. We concentrate on how to have quality service delivery. Our vision is to be a model district among the rural districts of Uganda,” Mr Byamukama added.

The Lamwo District Council benchmarking visit to Kyegegwa was organised by the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP).  
DRDIP is a government project funded by the World Bank and being implemented under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). 
The objective of the two-day learning visit was to learn from the host district’s workable strategies for enhancing local revenue performance and also learn how they are managing refugees being hosted in their district. 
Unlike other refugee hosting districts, Lamwo is financially constrained, yet any meaningful service delivery requires adequate resources at play, according to the OPM.  

Nonetheless, with guidance from DRDIP’s Project Implementation Support Team (PIST), Lamwo local leaders learnt how to enhance local revenue collection and how to balance resources with refugees being hosted.    
 Lamwo Chief Administrative Officer Thompson Obong urged his council to emulate what Kyegegwa and other refugee-hosting districts have done. 
“My first call of learning has been how Kyegegwa has done it. 

Unfortunately, we have little time ...” he said. 
The DRDIP director, Dr Robert Limlim,  said: “Teamwork builds trust, creates confidence. So, let us work as a team and remove mistrust,” he said.