Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) which brings together all district chairpersons has called on government to exempt district chairpersons from handing in their vehicles to the District Health Officers (DHOs) as recently directed by the President.
The call was made by ULGA Secretary General, Rose Gertrude Gamwera who as well condemned the slapping of Bunyangabu Resident District Commissioner by the District LC5 Chairperson who is one of their members.
Bunyangabu LC5 Chairperson, James Ategeka Mugarama on Tuesday morning slapped the District Resident Commissioner, Jane Asiimwe in her attempt to ground the government vehicle allocated to his office.
Asiimwe was implementing President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to have all government vehicles within district centralized at the district headquarters to be used by the task force in the Coronavirus response efforts.
However, several district chairpersons including ULGA leadership have come out to condemn the act but called for mutual respect among the district leaders if the virus is to set fought successfully.
“We highly and very much condemn such a behavior and therefore call upon all district leaders to avoid such scenarios in the near future and invest in working for peace and harmonized fight against COVID-19,” Gamwera said.
Gamwera said that the issue of the RDC or any person insisting to take the District Chairperson’s vehicle is rather uncalled for and has no justification since the District Chairperson is equally a member of the COVID-19 task force at the district level who also needs the transport.
“In any case, the District Chairperson should be left with their vehicles. This is their facilitation for their work as leaders of the district responsible to mobilize their people and also undertake monitoring of implementation of government programmes,” Gamwera noted.
Gamwera has thus requested all team players including the RDC who is the chair of the team to build harmony, to work to understanding the roles of each player and the contribution they are bringing on table as well as striving for respect for one another to ensure that the fight against COVID-19 is overcome.
Busia District Chairman, Geoffrey Wandera as well condemned the incident but noted that there was provocation to the district chairman by the RDC which should not have happened.
“That was a clear case of provocation on the district Chairman, of all the vehicles, you really start with the one of the district Chairman? We need to appreciate that, yes we have a challenge of the pandemic amidst us and as stakeholders we should build team work amidst the existing conflicts to confront a common problem to save the innocent people,” Wandera said.
Budaka District Chairman, Samuel Mulomi warned that any attempt to crack down on district leadership will spell danger in the Corona fight especially in rural districts.
“Well knowing that most RDCs can’t speak the local language and knowing that local communities listen more to their elected leaders than central Government officials, there is need for caution. Should chairpersons be agitated, the center may find itself with yet another pandemic to contend with,” Mulomi said.