MIKE SSEGAWA: Why Mukono district posted poor performances in the latest districts’ assessment report?

Mukono social media platforms usually discuss issues around the district however there’s something either missed because it wasn’t seen, or it’s unimportant to commentators and different players or was ignored deliberately! However, it’s worth giving attention if indeed we want this district to excel, be competitive and work for people of Mukono.

Recently the government released the list of best and worst performing districts in terms of local government performance with Isingiro district at the top for the best service delivery.

Mukono district or Mukono municipal council, were neither among the best nor the worst. We were hidden deep there among the rest of the mediocre local governments. That pain me.

The 2022/23 FY assessment report showed Isingiro with an 89 per cent score to jump from the second position in the previous year, where it scored 77%.

Kiruhura district was named second with 80%, a significant jump from the 41st position in the previous year, while Ibanda dropped from first position in the previous year to third in 2022.

Kamwengye (Toro) and Mayuge (Busoga) districts came fourth and fifth, respectively, while Bushenyi (Ankole again), which was 28th the previous year, jumped to sixth position.

Other top 10 performing local governments are; Bushenyi (72 per cent),
Ibanda Municipal Council (71 per cent), Kibuku (69 per cent), Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipal Council (68 per cent),
Gulu (68 per cent)
and Sembabule at 68 per cent regarding performance.

Kalaki and Kapelebyong local governments have been ranked worst performers, both posting 19 per cent followed by Namisindwa at 21 per cent and Ntoroko with 23 per cent while Amuria was ranked fifth worst performer at 26 per cent in a report released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Kwania, Kumi Municipal Council, Bugweri, Serere, Kween, and Obongi districts were also among the worst-performing districts in the year 2022.

The key assessment areas for performance measures included education, health, water and environment, and microscale.

Others were: collected local revenues, investment management, local government service delivery results, financial management and transparency, and accountability.

Mukono neither warm nor cold

I am disturbed that I don’t see districts in Central Uganda flying as they should save for Sembabule showing up in the LG assessment. I am equally disturbed but not surprised that dear Mukono Local governments are nowhere to be seen among the best managed districts.

Save for Koome Islands, I have made rounds in the entire Mukono sub counties, and held engagements with wananchi in those areas but we should all be bothered when we don’t see productive people in the villages or committed civil servants or leaders.

The biting poverty in our communities corresponds directly with the lack of empathy in what we leaders put in mobilising them to engage in productive economic activities.
In Mpunge where I spent last weekend, I found a vice chairman playing ludo in the trading center with a local government motorcycle parked there near him under the ludo tree- when his population is crying that they don’t of government programs such as PDM or Emyooga where they can get credit to kickstart their lives.
From the OC’s report, she had one thief in the cells on charges of stealing a bunch of banana! She emphasized that cases of food theft were prevalent in Mpunge. This is at the heart of the matter. As long as people still find it important to steal food to feed, it means poverty levels are too high in that area! It’s actually disheartening to take anyone to jail over food insecurity. For an area surrounded with water, it means there’s something wrong that people are still stealing food. Our teams in productions, cannot properly explain why a fertile sub counties like Kimenyedde, Ntunda, Namuganga, Mpunge, Mpatta, to name but a few, cannot be centers of food production to feed the mushrooming trading centers and urbanisation of the Greater Kampala- but wait for a politician when he passes by to throw some crumbs to them!

I was wondering what happened to the civil service when I met a nurse in Nagojje, under the employment of Mukono district who told me she got a transfer and promotion two years ago, but has not moved from her current station because of the absence of the District Service Commission. Some people would love to say nio nio but a small thing like formalizing a DSC has taken us two years and going, so who will render services to the people when they are demotivated and few boots on the ground!

While doing monitoring back in April, the in-charge of Namuganga HC3 told us that her position was not one to run a HC3 and asked to expedite an appointment for her boss, or, promote her. UpTo to now because there’s no DSC,we cannot give her an answer. The responsible people should be ashamed of their lack of zeal and love for work, people and service.

Yet you hear the same people complaining of Centralisation of some government services – when you see foolery going on in some local governments, you are really tempted to seek Centralisation for more services!
What do you expect from the center when it sees a population suffering over petty local politics which I actually equate to abuse of office! This is the story in the education sector, agriculture, fisheries, works, etc.
Mukono district, with a budget of over ugx80 billions (ugx60bn at Mukono district and ugx20bn at Mukono Municipal council), should not be in the shadows of upcoming districts.

Rankings aside, it’s upon the management of this local government, it’s representatives and people, to demand quality, efficiency and dedication in service delivery. Challenges will always be there, but where there’s dedicated and passionate staff and servants of the people, results show for themselves. And absence of the above, leads to lethargy in the services of the local government.