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    Amend Local Gov’t Act To Squeeze The Corrupt In Districts…

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    Some of the 12 suspects attached to Busia Municipality who included; the Town Clerk, CFO, Commercial Officer, Eng officer, Western Div Town Clerk, Div Treasurer, Procurement Officer, Acting Municipal Eng & the Principal Health Supervisor, who were arrested by the State House Anti-corruption unit. Inset is Faruk Kirunda the writer

    Fighting corruption and finally weeding it out is the biggest war in Uganda today. Everything must be done until all the corrupt lose appetite for it.

    Much of the corruption manifests in the districts and thrives with the collusion of “permanent and pensionable” Local Government staff. Technocrats, assured of job security and privileged to spend limitless tenures in districts of posting are able to form a complicated corrupt web which they use to swindle Government money.

    Technocrats have proven to be detached from the ground; they sit in offices all day waiting for deals and anybody seeking services from whom they can extort bribes. Despite the best intentions of the leadership to steer Uganda to greatness, such technocrats are a burden on collective national progress. They have this impression that being non-partisan and not being politicians means being actively defiant in service against Government policy objectives.

    It is much worse in regard to President Museveni; his well-articulated policies for transformation and effective service delivery mean little or nothing to technocrats assured of a stable source of income, with fixed terms no matter the state of the economy and the plight of the masses. All they stand for is how to earn more from Government coffers and this is the bedrock of corruption.

    How they work is that they starve members of the public of services and information about services until the people tire and become desperate, then they squeeze them for bribes. They make Government services look like a privilege that people must pay for even if they already pay taxes to fund those services.

    That is how patients come to be charged at Government hospitals, for example. Nothing makes me sick like a Government worker being so bent on being corrupt that they throw all caution and professionalism to the wind, while acting so confident like they own Uganda. Where the good ones exercise restraint in their duties to avoid making mistakes, the corrupt are so confident and diligent that they make everybody look bad.

    The bad apples create “impunity rings” in which they use the decentralisation cover to set their own rules and run Government service aground. You find them doing their own things, as if they operate in a different country not managed by the Central Government. It is why when the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Hon. Peter Ogwang, went around the country, he unearthed a regime of flagrant abuse of Government resources and systems. You wouldn’t believe that the errant were our own. You find someone doing unbelievable things on the assumption that they have so much power and cannot be questioned.

    Heads of Department like District Education Officers (DEOs), Chief Finance Officers (CFOs), District Engineers, District Health Officers (DHOs), District Planners, enjoy broad powers to an extent that working together, they can frustrate operations of the units. They control budgets. They are supervised by LC 5 chairpersons who tend to have personal political interests. Then there are weak Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) who cannot make decisions and who get “commissions” from these HODs and fail to hold them accountable.

    It’s RDCs saving the situation, since they are managed by the center and with very strict guidelines of service. It would be much worse if CAOs were appointed at the districts. District Service Commissions (DSCs) are not helping matters. There is reason to believe that jobs are given under wrong influence and after, the Commission has no role in following up their recruits to ascertain how they fare in service.

    It’s my preferred opinion that the Central Government recalls powers to appoint, transfer and fire district Local Government staff. Those are HODS. Districts should only recruit Sub-County staff, and lower. These powers can always be granted back when the public regains trust in the Local Governments.

    The other safeguard is to put workers on contracts, which are only renewed, let us say, every three years, subject to performance.

    Here, “performance audit”, which is President Museveni’s preferred method for checking every Government worker’s efficiency and contribution to service delivery, would apply. In today’s standing, “permanent and pensionable” workers benefit from absence of standardised performance reviews; they are not given work targets or expected deliverables by which they can be examined. The less work they do as they await their regular pay cheque until they clock retirement age, the better for them.

    Uganda Government is the most generous Government in the world, I must say. There are people earning for doing less work, because of absence of an apparent system of rewarding mediocrity, thus making a few committed patriots in service do the donkey work. People are qualified, some very highly, but they lack the spirit of Ubuntu and patriotism but hold positions in civil service where they are remunerated for just sitting and swinging in their chairs.

    All the responsibility for implementing policy ideas is pushed back to the center which is heavy with management of national affairs. This kills the essence of decentralisation, devolution of powers and “popular” creation of lower administrative units which were meant to ease decision-making and facilitate faster implementation of policy and service delivery.

     

    Faruk Kirunda is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary

    Contact: faruk.kirunda@statehouse.go.ug

    0776980486/0702980486

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    NATIONAL

    FOR PRAISING M7: Medical Association President Steps Down To Allow Independent Investigations..

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    Dr. Oledo praising President Museveni at Kololo Grounds

    The President of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr. Samuel Oledo, has stepped aside to allow independent investigations, according to Dr. Luswata Herbert, the Secretary General.

    Last week, during the Patriotism and Youth Investment symposium, Dr. Oledo appreciated President Museveni for the great job when he decided that all scientists must be paid well.

    “We request that you increase the salaries of our brothers and sisters in uniform, the soldiers, Uganda People’s Association (UPDF) prisons, and others.”

    He went ahead and knelt before Museveni and asked him to stand again 2026.

    This has since been condemned by a number of people who have termed his acts of kneeling as disrespectful to the profession and asked that he should resign.

    On 4th December, 2022, UMA released a statement disassociating themselves from the actions of their President Dr. Dr. Samuel Oledo and his Kololo team.

    Their statement read, “Uganda Medical Association is non-partisan and therefore does not participate in political activities of a partisan nature. The current U.M.A President attended the particular meeting in his personal capacity but not as U.M.A and
    his communications at that meeting were not representing the official position(s) of UMA.

    “Uganda Medical Association dissociates itself from any and all partisan political actions or acts, and is constitutionally required to do so. U.M.A is committed to remain neutral to and to serve all Ugandan doctors and persons from all the political dispensations of, and in Uganda and globally.”

    Dr. Oledo’s team of medical personnel with President Museveni

    Today morning, Democratic Party member and Buikwe South Member of Parliament, Lulume Bayigga said that Dr. Oledo should be brought to book.

    Lulume made these remarks while appearing on NBS’ Morning Breeze today following an incident where Uganda Medical Association (UMA) president, Dr.Oledo Samuel was seen kneeling before the president and asking him to stand again in 2026.

    Dr. Lulume noted that when they were in medical school, they were taught to be respected professionals and serve their country by treating people.

    “The engagement we wanted the UMA president to be part of would be to advocate for the improved welfare of the medics to serve the country better,” he said.

    Dr. Lulume added that the people who followed Dr. Oledu were not from Uganda Medical Association, and that’s why Dr. Mirembe is distancing herself from the act (endorsing President Museveni).

    Dr. Joel Mirembe, a doctor at the UMA noted that they are not against Dr. Oledu and just like the UMA statement noted, whatever he did, he did it in his own capacity and so they are here to protect the Association.

    He adduced, “It is sad that the doctors leadership body is invited to discuss a topic of political succession. That is where the issue is.

    “We have reached out to Dr. Oledu and he is okay and safe. He hasn’t commented about his action, he seems not concerned about what is happening.”

    Dr. Lulume however insisted that UMA will continue with its aspirations because it is Constitutional but what Oledo did scandalized the whole Association, and he must be brought to book.

    “Impeachment is one of the reprimanding measures, but the doctors will take the decision.”

    Dr. Mirembe adduced that Dr. Oledo is the President of the Uganda Medical Association, but what he did was embarrassing and wrong for the profession.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    CRIME

    Justice Minister Mao To Meet Security Council Over Drone Abductions And Kidnaps…

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    Minister Norbert Mao

    Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Nobert Mao revealed that he was appointed as Chairperson of cabinet committee on human rights.

    Mao made these remarks today while appearing at the 27th joint Government of Uganda-Development Access to Justice Annual review at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

    Speaking at the event, Mao revealed that he has been tasked with his committee to look into the recent rise in cases of alleged kidnaps and abductions of people, mostly those leaning on the political opposition.

    He said, “Myself and the Attorney General have been asked to meet the security council over the increased reports of abductions and kidnaps.”

    Mao vowed to reach out on all people with missing relatives or friends to give them more information about the disappearance of their people.

    “Once we have got the details, we shall be presenting them before the Security Council.”

    He added that the committee will institute a human rights desk where all complainants of missing persons will be reported for response.

    Mao adduced that once it comes to their attention, they have the capacity to trace that person using their cameras.

    “The issue shouldn’t be politicized because it is sensitive and touches people’s lives. If it’s true they are abductions, these may be conducted by disgruntled people within government with the view of tainting its good image.”

    Mao contended that they will ensure that they do better so that when they come back for the 28th time they give themselves marks.

    According to Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, this year’s review is being held against the background of a challenging year. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had probably challenging phenomenon, socially, economically and politically.

    He said, “Most specifically, the pandemic created unprecedented challenges and demands on access to justice community, but also tested the resilience and resolve of our coordination and collaboration model.

    “Our theme of the day is aligned with the national vision 2040 that seeks to consolidate the principles of governance, including constitutional democracy, protection of human rights, the rule of law, govt effectiveness and citizens participation in development processes.

    “President Eisenhower once said, peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. Let’s remember the need for both peace and justice, not just one of them.”

    Kiryowa further emphasized that all people with missing persons should report to them for a proper follow-up because they can’t act on allegations without facts and that he can’t follow up a case basing on rumours posted on social media.

    By Kalamira Hope

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    MY MONEY

    Kabaka Mutebi’s Siblings Hire M7’s Lawyers To Battle City Businessman At Supreme Court Over Juicy Mutungo Land….

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    The Administrators of the Estate of Sir Edward Walugembe Muteesa II, the former King of Buganda have hired President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni lawyers to battle city businessman Dr. Muhammad Buwule Kasasa at the Supreme Court over the juicy Mutungo land.

    theGrapevine has exclusively learnt that Kabaka Mutebi’s siblings led by Prince David Kintu Wasajja, Princess Dorothy Nassolo, Princess Sarah Kagere, on behalf of their family have instructed K&K Advocates, a law firm owned by President Museveni’s son-in-law Edwin Karugire and the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka to proceed with the appeal after losing at the Court of Appeal.

    Last month, three justices of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Christopher Gashirabaki, Justice Elizabeth Musoke, who has since been promoted to the Supreme Court and Justice Eva Luswata dismissed the appeal from the royals and declared Kasasa as the owner of the said land.

    The contested land is measuring 640 acres situated at Mutungo, Luzira hill in Nakawa Division Kampala district on Kyadondo Block 237 plot 39, 29, 48, 56, 67, 59, 69, 81, 82, 88, 111, 112, 114, 115, 142, 148, 150, 335, 97, 70, 138, 131, 154, 155, 178, 179, 388 and 410.

    Buganda royals claim that Kasasa grabbed their father’s land when he was exiled by former president Milton Obote in 1966 Buganda crisis.

    However, Kasasa has evidence that he bought the land legally from the bank after it was mortgaged by the registered owners then Lake View properties limited who bought the land from Muteesa himself during his broke days in exile in UK.

    theGrapevine has also established that Kasasa, through his lawyers of SK Kiiza & Company Advocates has protested the royal’s move to hire Museveni’s lawyers to present them at the Supreme Court citing conflict of interest.

    The lawyers claim that K&K Advocates cannot represent the petitioners when Attorney General Kiwanuka, a senior patner in the law firm, is a party in the appeal.

    The Attorney General was sued jointly with Kasasa and lawyers insist that his law firm cannot represent the other party.

    “We are of the strong view that as much as a party is at liberty to choose a lawyer, K&K Advocates is not a suitable law firm to represent parties who are at the same time suing the government through the Attorney General. Definitely, Kiryowa Kiwanuka the Attorney General would be conflicted in this matter,” Kasasa’s lawyers protested.

    Kiwanuka was not reached for a comment because he was not picking our calls by press time.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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