Uganda is very rich; all she needs are citizens of integrity

As Ugandans appreciate the changes taking place, the big question is: will our children and grandchildren be welcome in ‘our’ city fifty years or a century from now? Who exactly owns these properties? How did they get the money?There is general lack of ethics and integrity in the process of managing our national resources.If people were working with integrity, the resources available are enough for all of us.The problem is a specific group of technocrats that are rent-seeking and very selfish. Take the case of the occupants of Park Yard by Nakivubo management to operate there. It is these seemingly simple actions that cause the most harm.Enter Uganda’s public service. In many offices, you have to pay someone to do the work they are already paid to do. The biggest threat to this country is the general tendency by most public servants to scorn and abhor local service providers in favour of international ones for selfish reasons of the need to travel abroad and the resultant hefty per diems. In the long run, local providers are not empowered to grow. Where local providers are contracted, a lot of money is asked back in form of facilitation. In the end, the project is poorly implemented because a lot of money was paid back. This gives a wrong image to local providers as incompetent.The primary role of government is to help citizens develop and progress democratically and financially. Democratically, the executive must establish the systems of governance and ensure effective implementation. Financially, government must invest in technology and infrastructure to empower people with information to do business swiftly. For example, agriculture is the only sector which can turn this country into a developed one if government did her job of (i) guiding people which crops to grow and when (ii) enabling value addition and (iii) giving people market for their produce and fixing the distribution chain.For government to deliver these things, we need people with integrity. It is so disheartening to learn that the funds (about Ugx 85 billion) that government had set aside for farmers support, were borrowed by just two SACCOs which lent the money at commercial rates instead of helping farmers. Is this a problem of political leadership or technocrats or both? We need integrity – honesty and strong moral principles. Everything else will follow because our country is very rich and endowed.

March 19th, 2018 | by

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