Kabale University Professor Advocates for Greater Autonomy in Local Governments

By Naboth Isaac Niwagaba


Kabale University’s distinguished Professor of Governance, Sabiti Makara, has called for a reevaluation of fiscal policies mandating local governments to transfer their collected revenue to the central government.

Professor Makara, renowned for his contributions to the 1994 Constituent Assembly with his governance research, made this appeal during his inaugural professorial lecture at Kabale University. His move to Kabale University came after his tenure at Makerere University.

The professor’s remarks were in response to a February 2020 directive issued by the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance, requiring all local revenues to be channeled into the consolidated fund for central management. Numerous pleas have been made to reverse this directive, as it has reportedly hindered the local government’s ability to provide efficient services.

Addressing an audience comprising academicians, students, civil society members, civil servants, and the general public at the packed Kikungiri Main Hall in Kabale Municipality, Professor Makara emphasized that the government’s restriction on local governments’ control over their revenue undermines the principles of decentralization.

“Lower-tier local governments, especially municipality divisions, have been most affected, as the funds are often delayed in redistribution from the central treasury, causing financial constraints that impede service delivery,” Makara explained.

Supporting Professor Makara’s stance, Mr. Kakuru Robert Byamugisha, the Executive Director of “Kick Corruption out of Uganda” (KICK-U), a civil society organization combating corruption, pointed out that the money transferred to the consolidated fund sometimes gets mismanaged and allocated to matters unrelated to local governments.

In addition to this, Professor Joy Constance Kwesiga, the Vice Chancellor of Kabale University, acknowledged that the Professorial Lectures marked significant milestones in the growth and progress of the institution. She praised Professor Makara as a highly knowledgeable academic who had enriched Kabale University with his extensive expertise.

About Professor Sabiti Makara:

Professor Sabiti Makara is a seasoned academic, researcher, and consultant specializing in Public Administration and Management. He gained recognition for his numerous articles on political and governance issues. Before joining Kabale University in 2023, he enjoyed a lengthy academic career at Makerere University. His early education was supported by the mentorship of Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, who had served as the head of the Department of Political Science, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University, and Prime Minister of Uganda.

Makara’s journey began in Nkongooro village, Nyabihoko Sub-County, Ntungamo District, where he attended Nkongooro Primary School. He later pursued secondary education at Makobore High School Kinyasaano and continued to Makerere University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Philosophy, and History. He subsequently received a British Council scholarship to complete a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Management at the University of Liverpool, UK.

Afterward, Makara secured a position as a Lecturer at Makerere University and went on to obtain his doctoral degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Over the years, he rose through the academic ranks from Teaching Assistant to full Professor, thanks to his dedication to research, publications, and academic contributions.

Professor Makara boasts an extensive publication record, with articles featured in reputable academic platforms like Google Scholar, Academia, JSTOR, and ResearchGate. In addition to his articles, he has authored four books, numerous manuscripts, and research reports. He has also served as an External Examiner for various universities in Africa and abroad, overseeing the academic progress of over 100 graduate students, including five PhD candidates.

At Kabale University, Professor Makara leads a research team collaborating with Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) based in England to investigate anti-corruption strategies in Uganda. His consultancy experience extends to organizations such as the African Union, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, USAID, IDEA, EISA, and several NGOs in Uganda. He has also advised various government entities in Uganda, including the Parliament, the Electoral Commission, and the Ministries of Local Government, Energy and Mineral Development, and Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fisheries.

Professor Makara is happily married to Beatrice Kabahinda Makara, with four accomplished children, three of whom are married and graduates in their own right