Decentralization policy was introduced in the Uganda some years back with a major aim of improving service delivery, empowering people and creating modernization in communities. It was focused on improving development planning, improving people’s welfare, reducing poverty and delivering improved services to citizens but the current rate and effectiveness of the administrative units being created is debated upon because there are no signs of community development rather it is individual development, for those who get change to work at different levels in these administrative structures. These and more were words from Patrick Baguma the Fort Portal municipality FDC coordinator while appearing on Hit Fm alongside Johnstone Baguma ED ToroDev and Elizabeth Kijumba.
Patrick further said that maintaining the created units is expensive especially on administrative costs which means that there will be insufficient resource allocation to key sectors of development which results into poor quality service delivery in the country. He urged government to reduce on the way it is allowing the creation of new administrative units and instead allocate the money to start up capital for the unemployed and organized groups of citizens so that their incomes can raise and in the long run they pay taxes which can be used to improve the quality of services delivery in the country.
While discussing on the topic: Creation of new administrative units in the country, to what extent have they improved service delivery? During ToroDev supported Orukurato program that is aired live every Saturday 8-10pm, Johnstone Baguma from civil society said the formation of new administrative units has created political patronage. He further said, the increased political patronage in the country has triggered raise in the creation of administrative units which is not beneficial to the majority but to few individuals, he urged decision makers to allocate, equip & facilitate avenues aimed at improving key sectors like health, education, etc which are not functioning well in the country.
‘’The government should work to improve key poor performing sectors like health and education to increase their budget allocations, drug supply in health centers, staffing of teachers and health workers to increase and improve service delivery in the country’’, said Elizabeth Kijumba a nurse working under ministry of health.
It was summed up by panelists that the creation of new administrative units in the country has not benefited citizens in communities as it was earlier planned hence need to first develop sectors which are key to the development of the country before additional administrative units because they have proved to be less effective to the people.
The two hours live discussion was joined by listeners from all parts of Rwenzori region through call -ins and Sms about 40 people called in however they were limited by time to give in their opinions on the topic of discussion; ‘’Much as we appreciate the creation of administrative units, we realize that some native people have not benefited and those in administrative offices are not committed to serve the people to improve service delivery’’, said Doreen Kusasira from Kasenda in Kabarole district, ‘’Creation of new administrative units are meant to improve serve delivery such as schools, health units, water, roads, etc but we are yet to realize this’’, said Mr. Amanyire a caller from Kasunganyanja in Kyenjojo district, “The government is creating more and more districts and yet some communities are not at their best in terms of drugs in health centre’s, school lack desks and textbooks, congestion & no enough teachers, etc why can’t government first improve service delivery in already created districts?, asked Mr. Mumbere a caller from Kasese district, ‘’ the people occupying offices in these administrative units need to change their attitude to serve the citizens other than satisfying their own self interests’’, said Joshua Mugema a caller from Kyegegwa district.
We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support that make it possible to run these programs.