While closing the two-days retreat for ministers at Kololo, President Museveni is quoted to have urged the good ministers to ensure that our government Is more efficient and this has been received with mixed feelings by many Ugandans. Of course, the president could have meant well for the country depending on where you sit to read that statement. As for me, I still see some grey hairs and I think that we can only have an effective government if we mobilize the right mindset.
A few questions that I always ask myself and were asked to me again when I was being invited to the KFM Hot seat. Is our government weak or we are just failing to deliver on the responsibilities? How can technocrats, local leaders, agencies, and authorizes serve the nation better? Why should we as a people be interested in seeing an effective government? All these are questions that I will pose to any Ugandan for internalization.
To begin with, we have a political and moral challenge in our country. Dating back to the time we got independence as a country, to the first regimes of independent Uganda, to the current leadership and the beautiful society Uganda has become, you will appreciate the pearl of Africa, but will not miss appreciating that our political challenges keep deepening, and the one we have today, of young people who are politically disoriented, and emotionally charged, is likely to end this country in rather unfortunate times.
What is worsening our political challenges is the moral question that has been left to drown us, especially the young generation, and as I talk, it is more than irreversible, at least in the short run. As a result of this, our leaders, being part of the drivers of the moral decadence that we see today in one way or another, no longer feel any sense of duty to shape our moral aspirations. Because of this, we get leaders that are too corrupt for life. These recruit the “wanainchi” into the corruption spree and as I one time overheard a discussion by some Ugandans, that one time, some of our leaders will actually mortgage our country. But all hope is not lost.
The president of the Republic of Uganda, making a public plea to the country’s top management leaders is a good thing, even when its practicability may still b hanging in balance. Also, whether the president was just staging a PR stunt that I leave it to the experts, but as for me, a humble citizen, I think that it is good for our politics and development and it would be good commitment. I wish to urge our leaders, to for once, restrain themselves from corruption tendencies and processes, and move to rally efforts to mobilize Ugandans to at least reduce the level of corruption.
This is because an effective government would bean that my Kigarama in Kigarama is able to receive health, education, security, and other services in real-time and in good measure. This would ensure better standards of living and long life. This is what an effective government would look like.
Now, the question will be, why am I sharing this with Ugandans and what role do they have in getting this well done?
Article one of our constitution states that “all power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with this Constitution. (2) Without limiting the effect of clause (I) of this article, all authority in the State emanates from the people of Uganda; and the people shall be governed through their will and consent.” I, therefore, think that the people of Uganda must wake up and seek to actively and meaningfully get involved at all levels if we are to nurture a government that works.
We must as a country start embracing meritocracy as opposed to political “tokenism”. The appointing authority needs to start appointing people into positions of leadership not because they lost the election and yet we need to keep them closer. We need to start appointing people by way of rewarding merit and appreciating the requisite skills to do specific jobs. Of course, our education system has produced many incompetent products and these definitely find their way into p[positions of authority. But we can overcome this.
We need to start a culture of training and retraining people in positions of leadership so that we maintain a human resource e bank of skilled and updated professionals to do the jobs. We need an ICT expert with a proven track record of accomplishment in the ICT world, to be appointed Minister for ICT, the same for PS and other line positions in the sector. The same should be done for the Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, Tourism, Lands, Works, and the likes. Otherwise, we shall keep joking and masquerading around with less qualified people in positions of leadership and keep wondering why we can’t run an efficient government.
As I conclude, fellow Ugandans, citizens, and leaders alike, let us mobilize the right mindset, commit ourselves to a national dream, deploy the right skills in the right positions of responsibility, both political and non-political, and let us all work to remove and get rid of all bottlenecks that hindering our development. This begins with me and you because all power belongs to the people.
Greetings from Kigarama!
Alexander Kyokwijuka, Humble Citizen, Kigarama, Ndorwa East.