Development projects that pay greater attention to social accountability can improve citizen-state relations and trust in Uganda and other fragile countries, according to new research by International Alert.
The report, titled Making social accountability work: Promoting peaceful development in Uganda, evaluates two large-scale development projects undertaken in Uganda and has been published following the recent elections in the country that have been undermined by widespread unrest and allegations of corruption.
The report states that development projects which build in transparency and accountability components can nurture more constructive government-community relations – vital for closing historical divides between citizens and state that fuelled the civil war in Uganda, and helping people feel they can influence change.
Richard Businge, Country Manager for International Alert in Uganda, said:
“Uganda is not alone in the region in experiencing tensions around presidential elections. It is vital that we avoid post-election violence of the kind seen in Burundi at present and in Kenya in 2008, which points to the urgent need to help more people participate in decision-making and ensure the government and development agencies respond to their concerns.”
An informant of one of the report’s case studies commented that people in northern Uganda had previously felt neglected and humiliated by the government, but relationships improved “quite tremendously” after the project integrated a social accountability component. Teaching communities conflict-management skills also empowered them to resolve more local disputes among themselves.
It was also found that accountability initiatives can help make communities more cohesive. For example, forming local groups to interact with the district government and give voice to local concerns is an effective way of improving citizen-state relations, laying stronger foundations for building mutual trust and understanding.
As well as being a critical component of development projects, the report reveals that technology can also amplify citizen voices and enable better information sharing, therefore strengthening social accountability.
Jo Robinson, Programme Officer on International Institutions at International Alert, author of Making social accountability worklead author of Making social accountability work, said:
“Online spaces can sometimes represent more open forums for discussion on state behaviour than those offline, allowing people to engage frankly in democratic debate not just during election time, but whenever decisions are being made which may affect their lives”.
The report findings will be presented at the World Bank Group Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum in Washington DC on 1-3 March 2016 (website).
The research was based on two projects: Lakes Edward and Albert Fisheries Pilot Project (LEAF I), funded by the African Development Bank; and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Project (NUSAF II), funded by the World Bank.
Here I will Travers through the report of Auditor General of Uganda’s Annual Report for the year ended 30th June 2015. This is on: “CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND STATUTORY CORPORATIONS”. I will take the quotes and stories that seem to show parts of how the Government of Uganda works and what the Auditor General have cared about addressing in this specific report. Take a look! This here is Part three!
Ministry of Local Government:
Mischarge of Expenditure:
“Ministry of Local Government’s expenditure revealed that the entity charged wrong expenditure codes to a tune of UGX.12,086,792,676. This constituted 40% of total actual expenditure for the Ministry of Local Government. Whereas the funds were spent on items for which they were not originally budgeted for, the accounts have been presented in a way that reflects that the amounts were spent on the earlier budgeted items” (P: 215). Comment: This here came up in the value for money edition from the AG, now here is the whole picture. How the management of the Local Government Councils that doesn’t follow procedures for the items bought into the LGC. As this is seen by the review from AG and that is scary parts is the amount of monies used without procedure and not following budget. So they can by rollex to the council meetings or fancy watches for all we know.
Personal Advances to Government Officals:
“Personal advances to the tune of UGX.3,827,011,454 were not accounted for by the respective officials. As such, I could not ascertain whether the funds were used for the intended purpose. It was also noted that the unaccounted for funds were not reflected as advances receivable in the financial statements at the end of the year. The financial statements were therefore misstated by UGX.3,827,011,454” (P: 220). Comment: Certain officals have been gotten paid advances without proving where the monies have been used; surely this is questionable actions from the Local Government Councils.
Procurement of solar packages for the districts of Kabarole, Sheema, Rakai and Lwengo
“Withholding tax to the tune of UGX.36,561,220 from payments of UGX.922,845,962 to SHL and AVC for supply and installation of solar packages in the districts of Kabarole, Sheema, Rakai and Lwengo was not deducted for onward remittance to URA contrary to the tax law” (P: 235-236). “Audit review revealed that only two firms (SHL and AVC) won all the six contracts awarded during the year. However scrutiny of their bid documents revealed that they both shared an address as “P.O. Box 9784, Kampala” raising doubt as to ownership of the two companies given that at some point they were the only bidders who responded to the bids” (P: 236). “It was observed that invoices with higher amounts were entered on the system leading to overpayments of UGX.1,787,317” (P: 237). Comment: This here proves that there is something fishy in the financial audit on the contracts and the procurement of the solar packages. The statements and findings prove that two set of companies where at the same postbox; and they didn’t open an open bidding to the public as there should have been.
Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme – Project III (CAIIP III):
“It was noted that GoU contribution amounting to UGX.187,654,400 was released by Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to the project through the Ministry of Local Government Treasury General Account where the funds were subsequently spent” (…)”ADB Loan: Further, out of the released amount of UGX.187,654,400, UGX.102,932,000 was diverted by the Ministry and used on non-project activities” (P: 259). Comment: Out of the loan delivered the CAIIP III the funds was not used we’re they was supposed to be allocated and service delivered as was budgeted.
Uganda Good Governance (UGOGO) Progamme:
“It was noted that out of UGX.700,000,000 expected from the Government of Uganda, however, only UUGX.104,062,000 was disbursed. This led to a short fall of UGX.595,938,000” (P: 273). Comment: The GoU has just allocated about 14% of the amount that was budgeted. That such little funds that was to the UGOGO so they can’t do what it is supposed to do.
Second Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Project (NUSAF2):
“Section 2.2 of NUSAF II Operational Manual requires that at least 80% of previous disbursements are accounted for before replenishment to a subproject. The policy also requires that all funds to subprojects should be accounted for within six months. It was noted that UGX.5,159,940,305 out of UGX.281,974,035,473 disbursed to subprojects remained unaccounted for as at 30th June 2015” (P: 278). Comment: This here prove how little check up of the project that exisist. There is funds that are unaccounted for and that should be worrying, they could be used for ginger-snaps for all we know.
Think that was enough for today. More to come. Peace!
Office of the Auditor General – The Annual Report for the Year Ended 30th June 2015 – Central Government and Statutory Corporations 30th June 2015.
Today in Moroto there have been issues with the Police who wanted to block the FDC Campaign Trail Convoy. The Northern Uganda Police have made it hard for the main candidates in this part of the Road Map; they even made it hard for Go-Forward Presidential Candidate Hon. Amama Mbabazi! He had big issues with them; so that the FDC should also feel the wrath of NRM Police Force, though today that was the journalists filming and taking photos of it.
The Team Leader for the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF III) Endashaw Tadesse Gossa car has been driving around as reported from the 8th January 2016. He has been driving around in Karamoja in the car that I have a picture of. While he was driving around to pay people to not show-up to opposition rallies in the district. Especially get them to not show at the rallies in Moroto. Mr. Gossa have also bought locals brew to the people in Singila, Acholi Inn, Katanga and Chiambiswahili. With this actions the funds bought by World Bank to NUSAF and Governmental funding is being used to stifle the opposition; so proud the NRM can be of Mr. Gossa!
On the 7th January the Government of Uganda wants all of sudden to address the Cholera outbreak in the region. Here is the letter:
Strange that it happens now and in the campaign season. Not after because they want to show that they actually does something and maybe even care about the people in Karamoja.
Today in Moroto at Boma Grounds Dr. Kizza Besigye proclaimed this:
“’You have the minister in charge of Karamoja who is also tje first lady. She leaves Karamajong children languishing in the streets of Kampala and comes here to pretending to be caring about you. People here are dying of hunger”.
This here proves the power of the Opposition and why the Police go so hard on of them and the ones that cover them. That is because Mzee wants all the attention, still he goes after journalists who doesn’t cover him, something he has done during campaigns in 2015. The use of Mr. Gossa proves it to the fullest. While the Police officers and commanders stifle and block as much as possible the opposition parties campaign rallies. That shows how they all are tools for the NRM and the Government right now, instead of being civil servants for all people of Uganda. Sad sight, but they know who butter their bread. As on the 7th November 2015 Frank Tumwebaze handed over new Isuzu double cabin pick-ups at the value of UGX 145m. So with a new car recently the RDC of Moroto have to show that loyalty worthy and therefore acted as he has done today. Hope the car was worth you’re self-respect and honor of serving the people and not the loyal men of Mzee.
We can see that people even when paid to shun the campaigns shows up, to Amama Mbabazi and the Dr. Kizza Besigye in the area. Therefore the paying and showing off money isn’t helping the NRM. It’s more like draining money from the campaign budget, but hey that is just embezzled money of 29 years so they can afford it. That is why the people want’s change. Peace.