Opinion: When the NRM is more important than the elected officials…

For years there been promises of bicycles to the Local Councillors 1, the village leaders and it never happened. This was supposed to deliver for the about 69.000 villages. The state was bound to buy 70,000 bicycles and State Minister of Finance David Bahati renewed this pledge in 2019. However, it never amounted to anything. So, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government have pledged this to the LC1 Councillors for about a decade without delivering.

However, today the same NRM suddenly have 65,000 bicycles to the NRM Village Chairpersons across the Republic. In the middle of August a year after the renewed pledge to the elected village officials. The state and governing party is giving the same amount of bikes to their own.

The “Yellow Bicycles” is just so fitting. This is a easy ploy and usage of an old pledge to their own. Instead of giving it to whoever represents the villagers across the Republic. They are instead only giving this gift to their own. This is making the NRM greater and flex. Because, everyone cannot have VW Beetle like late Abiriga. That is something we know the Movement cannot afford…

Nevertheless, these Yellow Bicycles are just so conveniently fitting into a government scheme and appear right before the elections. It is just like naming the LC1 Councillors Bicycles into the Yellow Bicycles schemes. It is about the same amount of bikes and has the same means even. Only difference, instead of being shared between all sort of political parties. It is a inner-party act.

It is to show greatness in 2020. To give a small donation and usage of billions of shillings on bicycles. In 2010/11 it was bound to be 11 billion shillings for the same. Now years later it might be more costly and could be in the amounts of 30 billion shillings. Who knows at what cost and who traded them.

We are seeing that old promise, an old pledge has been renewed, sort of delivered, but its biased and have become NRM thing. It is not a national thing or a government one. It is a party scheme and a Movement drive. This is not for the villages representatives, but for the NRM village representatives. It is not like Resistance Councils are still alive and kicking it. The system is a multi party one. With that in mind, the NRM only giving to their own, which is fine.

However, this is supposed to be all village councillor, not only the ones wearing yellow and members of the Movement. This was supposed to be to all village councillors, no matter what party or creed. Nevertheless, that is clearly not the aim anymore.

The Movement is showing its greed and selfishness. Who knows where the money comes from and who earns on the trade. The NRM Village Councillors are used for this and toyed with. They are giving a small token for their loyalty, but the big-men is eating the whole plate all year. That is why something like this is only a ploy, a small arrangement and act of charity. However, this is not building long lasting structures.

This is for the NRM and by the NRM. While using a scheme that was supposed to be a government act for elected village officials. They can rewrite and change the narrative, but that doesn’t make it true. Peace.

Opinion: Again, we see that the Local Councillors are not a priority…

My Ministry has issued a number of guidelines on roles and responsibilities of Village and Parish Councils and their Committees while executing their various mandates” (…) “However, despite issuing these guidelines, there is need for an in depth induction for Village and Parish Councils and their Committees. This will be achieved as soon as funds are availed” (Tom R. Butime – ‘ RESPONSE TO A QUESTION RAISED ON FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT TO CARRY OUT ADEQUATE ORIENTATION OF ELECTED LOCAL COUNCILS I AND II’ 26.11.2019).

This is not new, as the Local Councillors election could be like picking a captain this last year (2018) on the football field. The art of peer pressure in the villages and towns all across the Republic. The lack of already having funds for the Local Governments, the lack of oversight and even plans for their operations, as effectively not solving the issues locally. As well, as reports of funding for health care centres, motorbikes and so-on. This is a never ending story of lack of due diligence and unnatural growth of a governing body.

With that in mind, as the government should have been prepared to school and teach them how the game was played. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) wasn’t prepared for this and never seemingly, they are more preoccupied with spending elsewhere than actually governing. That is why the LG isn’t getting the funds its need. Most of it given as donations from donors anyway like 60% of it is based from there. That’s why the LG and Local Councillors 1 and 2 haven’t gotten the support they need. This is after postponing LC Elections for over 18 years and they could have secured this for the post-election last year. Still, they didn’t, because they don’t care.

As we see by one report on the matter:

Conclusion: Financing of LGs is critical to the success of decentralisation policy in Uganda. However, the current level of LG financing is not sufficient to meet the level of demand for service delivery. There has been a decline in transfers from Central Government to LGs, in relative and per capita terms attributed to recentralisation of functions and resources which by law are mandated to LGs. This study found that that UGX 1.066 trillion will be retained by various MDAs, yet these funds are supposed to be allocated to LGs as mandated under the Second Schedule of the LGA (CAP 243)” (ACODE – ‘Financing Local Governments in Uganda: An analysis of Proposed National Budget FY 2019/20 and Proposals for Re-allocation’, ACODE Policy Research Series No. 92, 2019).

The Local Government is already lacking the resources it needed, the negative spiral of funds is also showing. Therefore, the state could show some little incentive if they cared, but they are more preoccupied with other projects and such. That’s why these governing bodies are coming second. The NRM shows their lack of care, they can easily make new districts, new sub-counties and municipalities, but they cannot find funds to keep the upkeep.

The LG could have been resolved, but the matters are not the concerning for the high above, the State House nor the Office of the Prime Minister. As they are eating the funds that should have gone here, even the army budget could have been cut to fix the issues within the local government. However, that is not happening with this rulers and this elite in power. They are not giving way and actually securing these bodies with the needed funds.

Instead, they are already giving them to little compared to what them need and the elected officials doesn’t get the guidance nor the lessons of protocol they would need to succeed. They are just going more and more steps ahead of failing. If this isn’t a failure, than its a bloody miracle if it actually would work. Because, people are just catching up as best as they can. Peace.

Uganda: Electoral Commission Statement – “Programme for Conduct of Administrative Unite (Village and Parish Level) and Woman Councils and Committees (Village to National Level) Elections, 2017” (24.08.2017)

Uganda: Electoral Commission Statement – “Programme for the Conduct of Administrative Units (Village and Parish) Elections 2017” (24.08.2017)

Uganda: UPC Calls for Economic Reforms (05.04.2017)

Uganda: UPC for LC1 and LC2 Elections (15.02.2017)

upc-15-02-2017-p1upc-15-02-2017-p2