COMMENT | Samson Tinka | The appointment of Robinah Nabbanja as a Prime Minister of Uganda caught almost everyone by surpsie. There had been various guesses of likely candidates, but nothing pointed towards her direction.
One politician even belittled this appointment. Member of Parliament Ssemujju Nganda said that she cannot even be considered as an Executive Director of a garbage collecting company.
This of course never went well with her and soon after, they squared it out on floor of parliament.
It is therefore appropriate that we take a look at the millage so far covered by Nabbanja to either qualify or trash Ssemujju’s statement. And by look for things so far, Nabanjja seem to be getting it right.
Lady on ground.
Nabbaja has been on ground from Kasese to Bunyoro to Isingiro and other places.
So far many government officials, especially the team form her own office and local government leaders have felt her presence.
The PM officers responsible for Kasese camp deliveries that were fake, substandard and unfit for human consumption are still pacing up and down with police detectives. Hopefully we shall see convictions on this case.
Nabbaja was on point and didn’t mince her words. The Uganda of today requires leaders on ground not in air conditioned offices. Crimes and poor service delivery can be detected when on ground.
The Prime Minister Nabbanja, has already recommended the termination of a contract for the construction of a 40-kilometre road in Kyegegwa District, citing shoddy work.
A total of Shs1.9 billion had been earmarked for the road that connects Nabingoola in Mubende District to Kakabara Sub-county in Kyegegwa District.
In a tough voice she said, “If you want to work with the Prime Minister’s office, please do the best. President (Museveni) is tired of corrupt people. For how long will you put this government to shame over shoddy work?”
Deployed minsters to go to the field.
Nabbanja has since sent Ministers to go to the field to see what government money and other resources sent to district for different projects the impact it has created.
Also to ascertain the value for money. One of these ministers that has been in the news is Peter Ogwang who was in Bunyoro region carrying out on spot government projects assessment. Local government leaders in Kiryandongo and Kikube are having sleepless nights.
Many commissioned projects were found either be fictitious, sub standard, nonexistent or have suffered from diversion of funds . Certainly there are a lot of similar issues country wide. Local governments seem to be doing badly in terms of government projects. That’s why senior ministers ought to spend more time on ground than boardrooms in Kampala.
Another minister Judith Nalule Nabakooba has halted the planned eviction of more than 3,000 people, from disputed land in Kasanje-Nakigga village, Bukakata sub-county, Masaka district. The affected persons are mainly pastoralists and peasant farmers occupying more than three square miles of land in Kasange-Kigga village, Kiteredde, Musajja, Muddu, Komoni, Biriinzi, Lutukuma, and Kigo.
This is the kind of action the nation has been hungry for – ministers that are closer to people.
This closer monitoring and assessment of government sponsored projects will be a check to Local Government officials. A lot bad has been going on with Local Government supervised projects. There cartel involving some councilors, tender winners and Local Government officials. The most affected projects are those under schools, hospitals and roads.
It is high time cabinet meetings are held at various districts so that there is that connect between local and the centre.
My previous employer, Stanbic bank, that I always happy to refer too, had connect sessions and these were mandatory. They used to last at least 15 minutes every morning.
The reasons for these connect sessions were, catch up on yesterday’s schedule and evaluate what was completed, WIP or deferred, but also plan for the day. These connect sessions helped to kill off whatever would be a gap for any planned execution on time. Connect sessions also facilitate team work.
Imagine having a cabinet meeting at Karuma Dam construction site or any other government project. I think it would have a far positive effect.
The new or desired norm of work is being on ground.
I look at the most successful business men we all admire like Alykan Kamali of Mukwano. He has no official schedule of doing his work. Many time he holds meeting on the soap factory floor.
He regularly visits his channel partners-agents across the country without notifying both the sales team or the agent himself. In this exercise, he is hungry to pick facts without a third party.
Certainly this is the required intervention by our Ministers. This is what Nabbanja has gone for. This intervention can be rewarding.
We all saw how Tanzania’s late President John Magufuli used to do. He would take it to the population and would act immediately especially where government supported projects were mismanaged.
To you our Uganda Bulldozer Nabbanja, keep the foot on the peddle The Ssemujjus will collapse with their allegations.
Nabbanja has set a precedent that the CAOs, PSs, and other big government officials should follow.
Leave offices, put on gum boots and overall coats, fold sleeves and enter the mad. See, touch and feel the projects. Ask questions, meet contractors, suppliers, project consumers for first-hand information. Ugandans are good at report writing.
Connect with Ugandans especially the local people, you will get the right feedback. Councilors, technocrats sometimes are not honest. We need 10,000 Nabbanjas and Uganda will be a middle class economy.
To my Honorable Prime Minister Nabbanja, thumbs up. Keep it that way, the future will stand for you. So far so good. Asante Sanaaa.
Samson Tinka is a safety and security consultant | Director Matts Secure Solutions Ltd | tindsam@yahoo