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RDCs, CAOs, DISOs, and police, Tighten Up

By Ofwono Opondo

April, 15, 15   

This year’s annual retreat of the RDCs, their deputies, DISOs and Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) was held at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi this week with strong call to them to work together, and effectively coordinate to ensure effective implementation, supervision and monitoring all government programmes. The retreat was important and strategic because it was the first time they were brought together to ensure effective coordination and working as one team with the same objective to serve all Ugandans.

The RDCs, DRDCs, DISOs, CAOs, and police are appointed and deployed by the central government, and with increasingly better facilitation it is expected that their performance in service should greatly improve, and they should prove their worth and relevance especially stopping the diversion and wastage of public resources.

RDCs and DISOs are the gate keepers of government in their respective stations and must relentlessly and uncompromisingly fight impunity in government work which the population should support. The fight against corruption will be difficult and may never succeed if preventive measures are not well built, however much other anti graft institutions are vigilant because they often come after the breaches have occurred,  hence post mortem. The real sustainable approach which  also simplifies the work of IGG, CIID, and AG is strict inspection and monitoring in real time, right at the point of expenditure, which makes RDCs and DISOs critical.

While public perception about the roles of RDC and DISOs are more positive today among many citizens, government takes strong exceptions with those officers who continue to work casually, malingers, absentees, absconders and the corrupt. Many continue to be habitual absentees out of stations for long periods without any authorization and will not be tolerated any further because it is a form of corruption by continuously drawing salaries and monitoring funds for which they haven’t worked.

The president has continuously guided on standard methods of work and monitoring which RDCs and DISOs should adopt and pay adequate attention to on routine basis comprising discovering whether services and resources meant for the people are received. For instance, whether teachers or medical workers get their salaries in time as stipulated. Also, whether these officers actually teach and attend to patients, or spend their time under mango trees gossiping!

There is Operation Wealth Creation under which inputs being supplied which RDCs and DISO should monitor to ensure they reach the intended beneficiaries in time so that house productivity and incomes are improved as envisaged and planned.

Obtain bills of quantity for public works and monitor whether government is being overpriced, and if work done complies with standards stipulated in the official documents, or finding out whether medical and veterinary drugs are being diverted.  All leaders at the district should make sure that the government programmes benefit the ordinary person because this is the reason government exists.  

There should be sensitization of the public about primary healthcare, epidemics, education, and other government assistance programmes so people can take advantage of. District officials should help eliminate loopholes that can cause diseases or poverty. Serving and building Uganda should be both a duty and pleasure that all should enjoy performing with no price tag to it.

The President emphasised that RDCs should listen to petitions from citizens, coordinate crime and intelligence gathering, reports and prevention with technical DISOs and Police to ensure public safety.

Government officials should take advantage of the radio and media platforms to effectively communicate and receive feedback about programme implementation, and through the media and other field outreach programmes the population should be mobilized to understand, appreciate and engage in profitable commercial production for enhancement of household incomes. Moreover this is even better simplified with the numerous subsidies of inputs that government is currently providing, which need to be emphatically and repeatedly explained.

RDCs, DISOs and CAOs intending to join elective politics were advised do to follow the constitutional framework, and ensure they obtain official written leave of absence in good time, as well as effectively handing over any public property under their custody. It won’t be tolerated for civil servants to abandon their duty stations and relocate to the prospective constituencies to electioneer.

Those who choose to remain in service were advised to be cautious about engaging in partisan and local politics where they may be. They must strive to be above the divisive local politics and stick to their state roles and mandates.
It has been directed that no government project should either be launched or commissioned without the presence of RDCs or DRDCs and any CAOs who breaches this directive will be penalised. RDCs and DISO must make routine monthly reports covering how tasks were handled, and also reports on specific incidents like a particular corruption case, insecurity or unusual occurrence like an epidemic in their district that government should respond to.

However, in all reports must strive for completeness, accuracy and timeliness, and the issues are properly presented with evidence or leads that can further be followed, and not just writing hearsays especially as election period approaches. Failure to furnish report is a sign of usuriousness and each RDC, DRC, CAO or DISO will be held accountable.