RDCs must assume the initiative in educating the public about government initiatives and funding distribution methods, including the use of the media in each district.
By doing this, the RDCs must be promoting civic empowerment among the populace and assisting the general public in being aware of the government programmes and monies allotted to them so that they can request the services provided by such programmes.
One important method for preventing corruption is raising awareness about how public resources are used and what programmes are being implemented as a precondition for enhancing service delivery.
RDC/RCCs and their deputies are expected to focus on the important responsibilities outlined in the Constitution so that common occurrences like the provision of air by contractors, shoddy construction, drug theft in hospitals, employee absenteeism, and the disappearance and diversion of funds from the Emyooga, PDM, USE/UPE, among other things, won’t take place.
The RDC’s office is the first district-level anti-corruption office.
Article 203 of the 1995 Constitution provides for the establishment of the office of the Resident District/City Commissioner and the cardinal roles provided for as seen below;
- a) To monitor the implementation of Central and Local Government services in the District.
- b) To act as Chairperson of the District Security Committee;
- c) To carry out such other functions as may be assigned by the President or prescribed by Parliament by Law and
In addition, Article 71 of the Local Government Act 1997 depicts the functions of the Resident District/City Commissioner as follows;
- Represent the President and the Government services in the district.
- Coordinate Government services in the district.
- Advise the district chairperson on matters of a national nature that may affect the district or its plans or programs and particularly the relations between the district and the Government.
- Monitor and inspect the activities of local governments and, where necessary, advise the chairperson.
- Carry out such other functions as may be assigned by the President or prescribed by Parliament.
Section 6 of the National Security Council Act of 2000 allows for the creation of District Security and Intelligence Committees, which are presided over by the RDC.
RDC/RCCs typically communicate with other security actors to combat crime in their capacity as the chairwoman of the District Security Committee. The LC3 chairperson presides over the security committee meetings at the Sub-county level, and these meetings should submit their results to the Sub-county RDC. RDCs have a system in place across their districts that enables them to effectively manage security issues.
Thirdly, according to the Constitution, the RDC/RCCs must carry out any additional responsibilities assigned to them by the President or by a bill passed by Parliament.
The President occasionally issues directives to RDCs/RCCs and other political figures as well as writing guidelines for some important issues on which to mobilise the populace, including, among many others: pandemic awareness, HIV/AIDS awareness, banana wilt disease, land fragmentation practises, illegal evictions, and enterprise selection.
Along with the other functions stated above, these must be the primary tasks that keep the RDC/RCC busy every day. The population should be urged by RDC/RCCs to heed government advice on these matters of policy.
In addition to the Constitution, RDC/RCCs must always familiarise themselves with the fundamental rules of the laws that further direct and support their work because doing so will enable them to make well-informed choices.
We observed that RDC/RCCs in the past were acting contrary to well-established rules set forth by the President’s office and the Constitutions by fostering corrupt inclinations like;
- Failing to help wananchi to have fair justice at bureaucratic levels in some cases mainly with land dispute problems and getting involved in unfair evictions by the rich who come to petition the RDCs’ office, which is rightly seen as the local district branch of the Office of the President.
- Failing to handle petitions properly by replacing the courts’ role to the extent of issuing judicial orders. Yet they have to just study the petitions received from people on a case-by-case basis and offer to mediate between the parties involved in the dispute, especially if the parties are all residents. Once unfair treatment or denial of justice to one of the parties is discovered in the dispute on account of his or her status being poor by the justice system, then RDC/RCC should approach the responsible offices to officially complain about the injustices discovered.
- Failing to understand their Constitutional roles properly, to do what is right, and represent the President and Central Government effectively which was turning the image of the ruling government.
- Conniving with the CAOs, LC V Chairpersons, and Councilors to swindle and get illicit kickbacks on the government’s money that would be helping to improve social services and government projects which change the mode of effective monitoring.
- And ignoring presidential directives sometimes.
We have observed that such impolite behaviours among RDCs/RCCs and their deputies are well managed under the leadership of Hon. Minister Babirye Milly Babalanda, and a number of them are extremely disciplined, submissive to the Presidential directives, and focused on their cardinal roles in their areas of jurisdiction.
We have also witnessed RDCs fired from their positions due to poor performance and land evictions, as in the recent incidents of Mr Ronald Katende, RCC Wakiso, and Deputy RDC Rakai district.
It has been noted that this is an effective disciplinary technique for the unknowables to mould the RCCs/RDCs. The majority of them operate openly out of fear of losing their employment if they make a mistake. The hurried and abrupt mini-reorganizations have also greatly shaped their discipline.
Ugandans recognise this as a success for the President, his Minister, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, and Presidential Secretary Hajji Yunus Kakande.
We express our gratitude to the team and request that they continue to combat the few remaining irregularities in order to uphold the precedent set and safeguard the reputation of the NRM government led by H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in order to advance our nation.