ONC coordinators will fill the gap left by complacent govt officials

Author: Alex Masereka. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Many have sacrificed service delivery at the altar of corruption and self-aggrandizement...  

Last month, Ms Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye, a senior presidential advisor and head of the office of the national chairperson (ONC) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, flagged off 180 regional coordinators to go out and help in monitoring the implementation of government programmes.

The ONC regional coordinators had just undergone a three-day orientation of the task that awaits them.

The selection of these coordinators comes on the heels of press reports that officials responsible for the implementation of programmes such as Emyooga and Parish Development Model have literally slept on the job. Media has been awash with reports that funds disbursed to help ordinary Ugandans have been mismanaged and not trickled down to the intended beneficiaries.

During his tour of Acholi Sub-region, President Museveni got first-hand information about how the PDM has not been implemented as he envisioned. This was due to the said bureaucracies that accompany the same.

Monotonous red tape and seeking njaulo (kickback) in the get-rich-quick schemes have been the biggest folly of many officials in implementing President Museveni’s otherwise wonderful initiatives aimed at uplifting many from poverty.

Laying out the mission for the coordinators, Ms Uzeiye outlined the responsibilities as dispensed by the President, listing monitoring of health services, especially in areas like vaccine uptake, access to education and agriculture which is the backbone of our economy.

In his vision, Mr Museveni wants the coordinators to identify individuals with land who are able to activate his long-anticipated four-acre model.

Uganda has been praised for having wonderful programmes on paper but which do not translate into tangible benefits for those intended to receive them.

This has been partly due to lethargy by those charged with implementing these programmes brought by a complacency whose roots are embedded in “arrivalism” and the greedy desire to be rich fast.

Many have sacrificed service delivery at the altar of corruption and self-aggrandizement much to the chagrin of the populace who in most cases misinterpret it to mean attitudes of the government towards them. Corruption is chorused as one of the potholes in Uganda’s road to total economic development.

Some officials are trapped by the privileges that come with a monthly salary and other benefits hence complacency. Because of this, the implementation of programmes is delayed.  As Ms Uzeiye said the NRM manifesto gives bazzukulu (grandchildren) the mandate to monitor the implementation of government programmes and that any technocrat who tries to hinder that is simply fighting the President.

PDM seeks to lift 39 percent (about 3.5 million people) of households from subsistence to a money economy.

Rolling out new individuals like the ONC coordinators will help bridge the gap as it will pile a level of pressure on technocrats and other leaders to do what is required of them.

However, the success of the recently launched Omalako Jajja Tova Ku Main by the same office gives hope that deployment of the bazzukulu (ONC regional coordinators) will go a long way in filling that vacuum created by complacent officials.

Alex Joel Masereka is a Pan Africanist and member Uganda – Cuba Solidarity Movement, Media team ONC