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UGANDA: Museveni plots regional local govts in place of FEDERALISM

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MUSEVENI IS PLOTTING REGIONAL LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN PLACE OF FEDERALISM

By CHANGE OF GUARDS

“My idea of using these 20 zones for sensitization comes from the 19 Independence Districts, which themselves had grown out of the 15 colonial districts…….four new Districts were created…..this brought the total to 19….During the NRM time, in addition to further decentralization for ease of service delivery, we also created the Kampala zone out of the colonial Mengo district. Hence, the total of 20 zones. During this sensitization campaign, my staff handled Kampala with Wakiso, out of the former Mengo district.”
    Museveni – August 12, 2019

By enacting the African Native Ordinance of 1919,  the British colonial administration recognized the need to extend some power to native leaders.  This ordinance defined the powers of and duties of African native chiefs at different levels and were answerable to the District Commissioner (DC).  The chiefs presided over the Sub-Parish, Parish, Sub-County and County.   These Chiefs were salaried local council officials responsible to the central government through the DC who was the lowest direct agent of the colonial administration.  The Local Government Ordinance of 1949 identified the 11 non kingdom districts as the local government unit with its District Council comprised of elected members.  However, the central government retained overriding powers over decisions of District Councils.  In the four Kingdoms of Buganda, Tooro, Busoga and Ankole, some sort of federal arrangement was recognised.

At independence in 1962, the Independence Constitution recognized the original eleven non Kingdom districts and the four kingdoms.  Buganda Kingdom was granted a full federal status while the other three kingdoms were granted a semi-federal status.  The 1964 Urban Authorities Act was at heart and decentralization was adopted for the non kingdom districts through the District Councils.  Owing to the 1966 Buganda Crisis and the consequential abolition of Kingdoms, the 1967 Constitution centralized all the powers with the help of the 1967 Local Administration Act of 1967.  When Iddi Amin came to power in 1971, regional/provincial administrative units were created.  The institutions of local chiefs and DC were retained and fed into the provincial administration that was headed by the Governor.

After the fall of the Iddi Amin regime in 1979, provincial administration was disbanded but the office of the DC and local chiefs was retained.  The communist spy network structure dubbed Nyumba Kumi (Ten Houses Cells) was introduced as the lowest local government unit.  When Museveni took to the bush in 1981 to fight his sectarian war,  he disrupted the local government structures in his area of operation dubbed the Luwero Triangle.  He targeted the Nyumba Kumi, and the entire local government chiefs who were summarily executed leaving the few lucky ones to flee the area.  He instead introduced his own version of communist spy network dubbed Resistance Council (RC).  The Nyumba Kumi fed into the RC I (sub parish) upwards to RC II (Parish), RC III (sub county).  His political wing was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its military wing was the National Resistance Army (NRA).  The original sole mandate of the RC network was intelligence gathering.  The RC network fed into the supreme quasi legislative body, the National Resistance Council (NRC) and its technical body, the Civil Intelligence (CI).  That is why the RC law at the time strictly prohibited anyone who had served in the intelligence services of past regimes from seeking any position.
Also, it is worth noting that for the same reasons, at all levels, the focal point was on the position of Secretary for Defence.

In his indoctrination programs, Museveni preached the empowerment of  ‘the people’  through the RC system once he would get into power.  However, as the going got tougher, in 1982, he organized a conference at Kikunyu with the pro Buganda, Andrew Kayiira led armed group, the UFM. To hoodwink the Baganda, he agreed to the Federal arrangement once he would get into power.  He went ahead to meet Buganda’s Prince Ronald Mutebi in London at the residence of another figurehead Chairman of NRM, Prof. Yusuf Lule where he assured them of a federal arrangement once in power.  During his 1985 interim government in western Uganda, he emphasized the entrenchment of the RC system and was used in intelligence gathering and ‘flushing out’ of the local government officials and the defeated UPC functionaries.

At that juncture, Museveni smuggled then Prince Ronald Mutebi from exile in London to the Liberated Zone of western and parts of central Uganda.  The plan was for Prince Mutebi to reassure the Baganda who were doubting Museveni’s sincerity over federalism.  With the DP, UFM, FEDEMO and the Catholic church rallying behind the Okello junta, Museveni had cause to worry.  When Museveni took power in 1986,  he disbanded the traditional local government structure.  The structures of local government Chiefs and the office of the DC were replaced by the RC and Special District Administrators (SDA), respectively.

Handpicked members of the NRC replaced the elected Members of Parliament (M.P) where Museveni became the Speaker of the quasi legislature, the NRC for the next ten years. The 1967 Local Administration Act and the Urban Authorities Act of 1964 were repealed by the enactment of the 1993 Resistance Council and Committees Statute.  With time, the office of SDA was renamed District Administrator (DA) and later Central Government Representative (CGR) and it evolved to the current Resident District Commissioner (RDC).  Whatever the title, the mandate of that office was and is purely for coordinating the RC intelligence gathering network, political indoctrination and suppression of dissent.

Caught up by time, in 1990 Museveni had to abandon his earlier trick of a four year interim period by extending it for another five years under the pretext of formulating a new constitution.  The Odoki Constitutional Commission report clearly indicated that 65% of Ugandans and 97% of the people of Buganda had wished to have a federal system of government.  During the Constituent Assembly, Museveni successfully worked hard to fail the federal system from being put in the new constitution.  He accused Buganda of harboring a secessionist agenda thus pitting it against the rest of the country.  He instituted a commission of inquiry led by Muhamood Mamdan that came up with a white paper that formed the basis of decentralisation based on the RC system instead of federalism.  Consequently, In 1997 he enacted the Local Government Act that repealed the 1993 LC Act.

Museveni hoodwinked Ugandans with the introduction of a sham multiparty system. He pretended to distance his NRM from the RC system by renaming the latter as Local Council (LC).  The development gave rise to the LC I, LC Ii, LC III, and LC V (district).  For the urban centers, the LC III is for the Divisions, the LC IV is for the Municipality and the LC V for the Mayor.  His argument for decentralisation was that it provided for the peoples’ participation in important government functions such as decision making, identification of problems, setting priorities, planning and monitoring the implementation of such programs.  He further argued that decentralisation would promote and ensure better allocation and utilization of resources for purposes of accountability and thus proper utilisation of resources.

Under decentralisation, local governments were supposed to make developmental plans based on locally determined priorities.  The masses were duped into believing that they were to be involved in local planning and implementation of government development programs. Through decentralized service delivery institutions, the rural poor would access improved services.  Education, health, agricultural advisory services and natural resources management were earmarked.  The 1997 Local Government Act made the RDC who is handpicked and appointed by the President, as the overseer of the implementation of the central government programs by local governments.

While the central government overseas the performance of the district local government through the RDC, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) doubles as the head of the public service and the accounting officers.  The CAO is supposed to liaise between the technocrats at the district level and the central government through the Ministry of Public Service.  The RDC who is supposed to be the head of security and intelligence management at the district level is instead preoccupied with suppression of political dissent.  After successfully hoodwinking Ugandans with a sham decentralisation and effectively containing Buganda’s ‘agitation’ for federalism, Museveni embarked on reverting to centralisation of power and resource management to the central government.  In this regard, since its enactment in 1997, Museveni has amended the Local Government Act fourteen times to suit his selfish designs.

The thirty eight district entities that he found in 1986 have been subdivided into the current over one hundred and thirty (130) district entities.  The proliferation of district entities makes no administrative necessity or economic rationale but only serves his Divide and Rule policy.  It serves his policy of patronage and central government hegemony and control.  In some cases, the creation of new districts serves to bribe politicians who threaten to withdraw their support while at the same time punishing those that don’t support him.  The northern region has 37 districts, the eastern region has 37 districts, the western region has 35 districts while the most populated Buganda has 26 districts.  It is interesting to note that Buganda with a population of 11.2m people has 26 districts and 103 constituencies while Museveni’s stronghold western region with a population of 10.2m people has 35 districts and 119 constituencies.  A live example is of Adjuman District which has a refugee population that is far less than that of resident citizens. The proliferation of districts helps in gerrymandering during elections by creating more constituencies in districts where he has more support.

The trend of proliferating local government units has flowed down to the lower levels such that currently 132 newly created Sub Counties have no single government health facility.  Coupled by the opposition inroads in the countryside ahead of the upcoming 2021 sham elections, Museveni rolled out an extensive program of centralisation.  Consequently,  local governments have been deprived of administrative and developmental human, logistical and financial resources.  Graduated Tax which had been a major source of revenue for local governments was opportunistically abolished.  His revenue authority (URA) collects every penny from traditional local government revenue sources.  This accounts for the fluctuating rates for local government councillors who are supposed to be paid from own resources.

Increased dependence on the central government grants affects effective planning and performance thus only 9% of the national budget is sent to the local governments from the center.  To make matters worse, 16 trillion shillings meant for service delivery (education, health water etc) at the local governments level is retained by the center by the mother ministries.  The central government solely manages national sector priorities implementation. The central government often unnecessarily interferes with the running of local government.  Local governments are restricted from soliciting for external funding for specific local government programs.  Even where such funding exists, it is retained under the control of the central government.  The central government inflates the costing of local government quotations for contracts.  Consequently, impassable feeder roads with broken bridges makes it difficult for farmers to access markets.  The standard of education at all levels has drastically fallen.  With appalling education infrastructure, out of the 1.8m children that enrol for UPE, only 0.6m complete Primary Seven.  There is a near total breakdown of health services – dilapidated buildings, lack of drugs and poorly motivated health workers.

The central government uses occasional ban on public service recruitment to deny the local governments of the necessary human resources.  Where the local governments are allowed to recruit, the exercise is marred by corruption, patronage, nepotism and sectarianism thus undermining qualified and skilled staff.  While the CAO is the accounting officer at the district, the district Public Accounts Committee that is supposed to monitor the financial management relies on resources provided by the same CAO.  Most interesting is that the district Internal Auditor is under this office.

It was amidst that confusion that Museveni made matters worse by further centralising power and service delivery from the traditional central government ministries and agencies to his State House.  For every public service sector, he has created an office under State House that is more authoritative and better facilitated than the line sector.  He deployed soldiers to mismanage the agriculture sector under the sham 4.5b shilling Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).  Identifying the beneficiaries under OWC is not by the local government but the soldiers who are the Extension Officers.  For political expediency, he bribes impoverished Ugandans with insignificant financial handouts through his much cherished saving scheme dubbed SACCO.  Without regard to setting down public financial regulations, he uses public resources to impoverish citizens by dishing out taxpayer’s hard earned cash into these SACCO.  He allocates about 200b shillings for his so-called Presidential Donations.

Realising that the deteriorating situation pertaining to service delivery is irreversible and that citizens across the board are yearning for a federal system, he is as usual scheming to go and circumvent it as it is his way.  He is contemplating the creation of regional administrative entities that will be headed by Resident Regional Commissioners (RRC). The RRC who will most likely be a retired military General will supplement the RDC in his traditional role of suppressing dissent.

Watch the space.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM

MUSEVENI IS PLOTTING REGIONAL LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN PLACE OF FEDERALISM

“My idea of using these 20 zones for sensitization comes from the 19 Independence Districts, which themselves had grown out of the 15 colonial districts…….four new Districts were created…..this brought the total to 19….During the NRM time, in addition to further decentralization for ease of service delivery, we also created the Kampala zone out of the colonial Mengo district. Hence, the total of 20 zones. During this sensitization campaign, my staff handled Kampala with Wakiso, out of the former Mengo district.”
    Museveni – August 12, 2019

By enacting the African Native Ordinance of 1919,  the British colonial administration recognized the need to extend some power to native leaders.  This ordinance defined the powers of and duties of African native chiefs at different levels and were answerable to the District Commissioner (DC).  The chiefs presided over the Sub-Parish, Parish, Sub-County and County.   These Chiefs were salaried local council officials responsible to the central government through the DC who was the lowest direct agent of the colonial administration.  The Local Government Ordinance of 1949 identified the 11 non kingdom districts as the local government unit with its District Council comprised of elected members.  However, the central government retained overriding powers over decisions of District Councils.  In the four Kingdoms of Buganda, Tooro, Busoga and Ankole, some sort of federal arrangement was recognised. 

At independence in 1962, the Independence Constitution recognized the original eleven non Kingdom districts and the four kingdoms.  Buganda Kingdom was granted a full federal status while the other three kingdoms were granted a semi-federal status.  The 1964 Urban Authorities Act was at heart and decentralization was adopted for the non kingdom districts through the District Councils.  Owing to the 1966 Buganda Crisis and the consequential abolition of Kingdoms, the 1967 Constitution centralized all the powers with the help of the 1967 Local Administration Act of 1967.  When Iddi Amin came to power in 1971, regional/provincial administrative units were created.  The institutions of local chiefs and DC were retained and fed into the provincial administration that was headed by the Governor.

After the fall of the Iddi Amin regime in 1979, provincial administration was disbanded but the office of the DC and local chiefs was retained.  The communist spy network structure dubbed Nyumba Kumi (Ten Houses Cells) was introduced as the lowest local government unit.  When Museveni took to the bush in 1981 to fight his sectarian war,  he disrupted the local government structures in his area of operation dubbed the Luwero Triangle.  He targeted the Nyumba Kumi, and the entire local government chiefs who were summarily executed leaving the few lucky ones to flee the area.  He instead introduced his own version of communist spy network dubbed Resistance Council (RC).  The Nyumba Kumi fed into the RC I (sub parish) upwards to RC II (Parish), RC III (sub county).  His political wing was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its military wing was the National Resistance Army (NRA).  The original sole mandate of the RC network was intelligence gathering.  The RC network fed into the supreme quasi legislative body, the National Resistance Council (NRC) and its technical body, the Civil Intelligence (CI).  That is why the RC law at the time strictly prohibited anyone who had served in the intelligence services of past regimes from seeking any position.
Also, it is worth noting that for the same reasons, at all levels, the focal point was on the position of Secretary for Defence.

In his indoctrination programs, Museveni preached the empowerment of  ‘the people’  through the RC system once he would get into power.  However, as the going got tougher, in 1982, he organized a conference at Kikunyu with the pro Buganda, Andrew Kayiira led armed group, the UFM. To hoodwink the Baganda, he agreed to the Federal arrangement once he would get into power.  He went ahead to meet Buganda’s Prince Ronald Mutebi in London at the residence of another figurehead Chairman of NRM, Prof. Yusuf Lule where he assured them of a federal arrangement once in power.  During his 1985 interim government in western Uganda, he emphasized the entrenchment of the RC system and was used in intelligence gathering and ‘flushing out’ of the local government officials and the defeated UPC functionaries. 

At that juncture, Museveni smuggled then Prince Ronald Mutebi from exile in London to the Liberated Zone of western and parts of central Uganda.  The plan was for Prince Mutebi to reassure the Baganda who were doubting Museveni’s sincerity over federalism.  With the DP, UFM, FEDEMO and the Catholic church rallying behind the Okello junta, Museveni had cause to worry.  When Museveni took power in 1986,  he disbanded the traditional local government structure.  The structures of local government Chiefs and the office of the DC were replaced by the RC and Special District Administrators (SDA), respectively. 

Handpicked members of the NRC replaced the elected Members of Parliament (M.P) where Museveni became the Speaker of the quasi legislature, the NRC for the next ten years. The 1967 Local Administration Act and the Urban Authorities Act of 1964 were repealed by the enactment of the 1993 Resistance Council and Committees Statute.  With time, the office of SDA was renamed District Administrator (DA) and later Central Government Representative (CGR) and it evolved to the current Resident District Commissioner (RDC).  Whatever the title, the mandate of that office was and is purely for coordinating the RC intelligence gathering network, political indoctrination and suppression of dissent.

Caught up by time, in 1990 Museveni had to abandon his earlier trick of a four year interim period by extending it for another five years under the pretext of formulating a new constitution.  The Odoki Constitutional Commission report clearly indicated that 65% of Ugandans and 97% of the people of Buganda had wished to have a federal system of government.  During the Constituent Assembly, Museveni successfully worked hard to fail the federal system from being put in the new constitution.  He accused Buganda of harboring a secessionist agenda thus pitting it against the rest of the country.  He instituted a commission of inquiry led by Muhamood Mamdan that came up with a white paper that formed the basis of decentralisation based on the RC system instead of federalism.  Consequently, In 1997 he enacted the Local Government Act that repealed the 1993 LC Act.

Museveni hoodwinked Ugandans with the introduction of a sham multiparty system. He pretended to distance his NRM from the RC system by renaming the latter as Local Council (LC).  The development gave rise to the LC I, LC Ii, LC III, and LC V (district).  For the urban centers, the LC III is for the Divisions, the LC IV is for the Municipality and the LC V for the Mayor.  His argument for decentralisation was that it provided for the peoples’ participation in important government functions such as decision making, identification of problems, setting priorities, planning and monitoring the implementation of such programs.  He further argued that decentralisation would promote and ensure better allocation and utilization of resources for purposes of accountability and thus proper utilisation of resources.

Under decentralisation, local governments were supposed to make developmental plans based on locally determined priorities.  The masses were duped into believing that they were to be involved in local planning and implementation of government development programs. Through decentralized service delivery institutions, the rural poor would access improved services.  Education, health, agricultural advisory services and natural resources management were earmarked.  The 1997 Local Government Act made the RDC who is handpicked and appointed by the President, as the overseer of the implementation of the central government programs by local governments.

While the central government overseas the performance of the district local government through the RDC, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) doubles as the head of the public service and the accounting officers.  The CAO is supposed to liaise between the technocrats at the district level and the central government through the Ministry of Public Service.  The RDC who is supposed to be the head of security and intelligence management at the district level is instead preoccupied with suppression of political dissent.  After successfully hoodwinking Ugandans with a sham decentralisation and effectively containing Buganda’s ‘agitation’ for federalism, Museveni embarked on reverting to centralisation of power and resource management to the central government.  In this regard, since its enactment in 1997, Museveni has amended the Local Government Act fourteen times to suit his selfish designs.

The thirty eight district entities that he found in 1986 have been subdivided into the current over one hundred and thirty (130) district entities.  The proliferation of district entities makes no administrative necessity or economic rationale but only serves his Divide and Rule policy.  It serves his policy of patronage and central government hegemony and control.  In some cases, the creation of new districts serves to bribe politicians who threaten to withdraw their support while at the same time punishing those that don’t support him.  The northern region has 37 districts, the eastern region has 37 districts, the western region has 35 districts while the most populated Buganda has 26 districts.  It is interesting to note that Buganda with a population of 11.2m people has 26 districts and 103 constituencies while Museveni’s stronghold western region with a population of 10.2m people has 35 districts and 119 constituencies.  A live example is of Adjuman District which has a refugee population that is far less than that of resident citizens. The proliferation of districts helps in gerrymandering during elections by creating more constituencies in districts where he has more support.

The trend of proliferating local government units has flowed down to the lower levels such that currently 132 newly created Sub Counties have no single government health facility.  Coupled by the opposition inroads in the countryside ahead of the upcoming 2021 sham elections, Museveni rolled out an extensive program of centralisation.  Consequently,  local governments have been deprived of administrative and developmental human, logistical and financial resources.  Graduated Tax which had been a major source of revenue for local governments was opportunistically abolished.  His revenue authority (URA) collects every penny from traditional local government revenue sources.  This accounts for the fluctuating rates for local government councillors who are supposed to be paid from own resources.

Increased dependence on the central government grants affects effective planning and performance thus only 9% of the national budget is sent to the local governments from the center.  To make matters worse, 16 trillion shillings meant for service delivery (education, health water etc) at the local governments level is retained by the center by the mother ministries.  The central government solely manages national sector priorities implementation. The central government often unnecessarily interferes with the running of local government.  Local governments are restricted from soliciting for external funding for specific local government programs.  Even where such funding exists, it is retained under the control of the central government.  The central government inflates the costing of local government quotations for contracts.  Consequently, impassable feeder roads with broken bridges makes it difficult for farmers to access markets.  The standard of education at all levels has drastically fallen.  With appalling education infrastructure, out of the 1.8m children that enrol for UPE, only 0.6m complete Primary Seven.  There is a near total breakdown of health services – dilapidated buildings, lack of drugs and poorly motivated health workers.

The central government uses occasional ban on public service recruitment to deny the local governments of the necessary human resources.  Where the local governments are allowed to recruit, the exercise is marred by corruption, patronage, nepotism and sectarianism thus undermining qualified and skilled staff.  While the CAO is the accounting officer at the district, the district Public Accounts Committee that is supposed to monitor the financial management relies on resources provided by the same CAO.  Most interesting is that the district Internal Auditor is under this office.

It was amidst that confusion that Museveni made matters worse by further centralising power and service delivery from the traditional central government ministries and agencies to his State House.  For every public service sector, he has created an office under State House that is more authoritative and better facilitated than the line sector.  He deployed soldiers to mismanage the agriculture sector under the sham 4.5b shilling Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).  Identifying the beneficiaries under OWC is not by the local government but the soldiers who are the Extension Officers.  For political expediency, he bribes impoverished Ugandans with insignificant financial handouts through his much cherished saving scheme dubbed SACCO.  Without regard to setting down public financial regulations, he uses public resources to impoverish citizens by dishing out taxpayer’s hard earned cash into these SACCO.  He allocates about 200b shillings for his so-called Presidential Donations.

Realising that the deteriorating situation pertaining to service delivery is irreversible and that citizens across the board are yearning for a federal system, he is as usual scheming to go and circumvent it as it is his way.  He is contemplating the creation of regional administrative entities that will be headed by Resident Regional Commissioners (RRC). The RRC who will most likely be a retired military General will supplement the RDC in his traditional role of suppressing dissent.

Watch the space.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND THE PROBLEM OF UGANDA IS MUSEVENISM

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: October 13, 2019 at 07:20PM

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