Kabale District councilors urged to embrace their monitoring roles for better service delivery.Tobias Habasa
The executive director for of Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, has said that the problem of poor quality services in local governments can only be improved by complementing the current supply side interventions with demand-side solutions.
Dr Beinomugisha, made the remarks today at the start of a two-day induction of Kabale district councilors at the district Rukiiko hall in Kabale municipality organized by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment-ACODE, in partnership with ministry of local government and Uganda local governments Association- ULGA. The induction is running under “the local government council score card assessment 2014/15-unlocling potentials and amplifying voices”.
The Local government score care is premised on the demand side model theory of change, monitoring the performance of the local councils and providing their performance to the public, so that the citizens can demand for increased accountability on local political leaders, hence triggering a vertical spiral of demand for accountability from the local to national level.
Dr Beinomugisha, also alluded to multi-party system of governance being practiced in Uganda, which he said has brought about democracy, where the electorate can ably choose their leaders in a free and fair elections and also allows for respect for minority groups, separation of powers and equality of every citizen. He added that Democracy, allows checks and balances, where the technical staff are directly involved in implementing government programs, while the political leaders help in the monitoring of these programs. However, Dr Beinomugisha, challenged the councilors to learn to ensure accountability.
On the issue of the decentralization, Dr Beinomugisha, said that the policy has quite a number of challenges, ranging from experiences, conditioning of funds to a complex conditional grants systems leading to most districts failing to utilize funds, withdraw powers and responsibilities because of lack of capacity and poor monitoring of service delivery by councilors. In that regard, Dr Beinomugisha noted at least 80 percent of district councilors in entire country failed to retain their seats, in the just concluded elections, due to monetization of politics and failure to recognize their local government functions and roles.
According to the Kabale district speaker, Flavia Nyinakiza Kanagizi, only 7 out of the 33 councilors in the Kabale district council retained their seats.
However, Dr Beinomugisha, said that decentralization can be strengthened through various interventions like strong political commitment dialogue and consensus building, using a legal framework which clearly assigns powers, functions and responsibilities to different levels, improving local government communication strategies and prudent planning, financial management and accountability among others.
While opening the induction, the Kabale district LCV Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, commended President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his National Resistance Movement-NRM government for creating an enabling environment for Democracy and rule of law to thrive. He also commended ACODE for the training saying that it will help them to improve in service delivery, monitoring, planning and budgeting.