Opinion: RDCs’ Retreat Is Normal Routine

The author: Duncan Abigaba

President Museveni has promised to award the members of the Uganda amateur golf team with Shs 3m package each in appreciation for winning both the East African Challenge and the zone VI Africa championships.

The team led by their captain Adolph Muhumuza had been invited for a luncheon by the president at State House and were accompanied by the junior national teams.

“I will direct my office to do that (pay Shs 3M to each player) as soon as possible. If the office cannot find the money, ask capsule I will at least sell my bulls, advice ask ” Museveni told the audience.

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Uganda won her maiden trophy in the 21st edition of the Africa zone VI championships, cialis 40mg beating tough rivalry from Kenya and South Africa, the only other two teams to have ever clinched the trophy who had one and 21 titles respectively.

Nine teams participated; Uganda (18.5), South Africa (17.5), Zimbabwe (16.5), Kenya (15.5), Swaziland (9.5), Zambia (9.5), Botswana (8.5), Malawi(7.5), and lastly Namibia (5).

Museveni poses for a photograph with Golf Club officials

Museveni poses for a photograph with Golf Club officials

Junior championships

The president also flagged off a four-man junior team who are heading to Zambia for the All Africa junior Golf championship to be held in Lusaka Zambia on May 3.

The four include the captain, Dan Baguma who will be making his fourth appearance and three other debutants; Richard Baguma (18), Deco Mutebi (16), Hassan Kiyemba (18).

The tournament comprises 12 countrie; Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Botswana, Namibia, Reunion, Swaziland, Mauritius, Tunisia, hosts Zambia and 16 time record champions South Africa.
By Duncan Abigaba

Article 203 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda establishes the office of the Resident District Commissioner.

203(1) states that there shall be for each district a resident district commissioner who shall be appointed by the president.

203(3) the functions of the RDC are; (a) to monitor the implementation of central and local government services to the district, salve (b) to act as chairperson of the district security committee and (c) to carry out any assignments as may be assigned by the president or prescribed by parliament by law.

The office of the president which supervises and oversees the performance of the RDC’s organized a retreat for the RDC’s at the National Leadership Institute, find Kyankwanzi from 8th April to 18th April.

This retreat has been annual since 2013. For the first time, Resident District Commissioners, Deputy Resident District Commissioners, District Internal Security Officers and Chief Administrative Officers were brought together in a joint retreat.

Of course, this was approved by the Ministry of Local Government which oversees the CAOs. This was done to synthesize and create synergies towards better service delivery and monitoring.

The RDC chairs the district security committee; the DISO is the secretary to the committee whereas the CAO is the administrative head of the district among others.

Therefore, empowering one of these ideologically or in whatever way while alienating the rest would continue to cripple the monitoring efforts.

Since the end of the retreat, the media especially the social media has been awash with false stories by self-seeking political actors that the retreat was aimed at indoctrinating and equipping the RDC’s with skills on how to rig the 2016 elections.

If I may ask, were elections even part of the areas covered by the RDC’s during the retreat? The answer is a big no. The retreat has been taking place for the last years. So, have we been holding elections for the last three years?

Others are accusing the government of militarizing the public service. These must know that the constitution mandates government to do so.

Article 17(2) states that, it is the duty of all able bodied citizens to undergo military training for the defence of the constitution and protection of the territorial integrity of Uganda whenever called upon to do so; and the state shall ensure that facilities are available for such training.

As a matter of fact, different presentations were made to the officials at Kyankwanzi. The retreat was officially opened by Rt.Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda and was officially closed by the President.

There was even a presentation by Ms. Carla Benin, the counselor for political and economic affairs of the US embassy in Kampala. She talked about strengthening the constitutional mandate of RDC’s.

There was a key note address by the minister in-charge of the presidency, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze. The minister’s presentation was shared with some media outlets.

It focused on the fight against graft. He argued that the RDC’s were gatekeepers and watchmen of the government in their respective stations who should fight impunity in government work uncompromisingly.

He said that strict monitoring would simplify the work of the IGG, AG, CIID and other anti-graft institutions. He also emphasized monitoring to discover whether services and resources meant for the people are being received. For example, are the teachers receiving their salaries? Are they teaching or spending the whole day under the mango tree conversing? I find such a question very pertinent.

This addresses the cardinal principle of service delivery because if a teacher receives his/her salary and goes ahead to cover his/her lessons, results would be registered.

This is a win-win situation. The other point of concern is communication of government programmes and messages of national guidance.

The Ministry of Information and National Guidance in collaboration with the Uganda Communications Commission by a policy instrument secured government free airtime on radios and many radios are willing to host the RDC’s to pass on any important information.


Another point of concern is harmonization of programmes with the CAO’s in regard to launching and commissioning of government works both at the start and the finishing respectively.

This should be done by the RDC’s and it is an effective tool for monitoring because it ensures that projects are done on time. Routine monthly reporting and incidental reporting were discussed.

In order to deliver results, the RDC’s reporting must be effective and it should address questions like what, when, where, how and who? This leaves enough clues for further investigation.

Lastly and importantly, RDC’s were warned against engaging in early politicking.

They were discouraged from engaging in local partisan politics as we approach the election period. Those with political interests in the coming elections were advised to seek advice from the secretary office of the president.

This vindicates the government. It is a clear signal that RDC’s are not political machineries of the government as the opposition usually alleges but they are civil servants charged with the monitoring of government programmes and social services.

Duncan Abigaba

The writer is a Deputy Presidential Assistant in charge of research and information.


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