Below: The new Minister of State for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation Ms. Grace Kwiyucwiny Freedom addressing Acholi leaders recently.
“ Besigye visited the facility on December 5, 2015, but the money to renovate it was approved four months earlier. They did nothing until Besigye went there. Do we have to wait for Besigye to wake us up? Recently it took the whole President to go to Wakiso district to expose the rot in a government health facility. Nobody takes action until the President comes around. Your Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is not coming to office in time and you do nothing about it. It is embarrassing to leave your work to the President” Minister of State for Northern Uganda Rehabilitation, Grace Kwiyucwiny Freedom
GULU-UGANDA: Uganda’s Minister of State in charge of Northern Uganda Rehabilitation in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms. Grace Kwiyucwiny Freedom has tasked local leaders who monitor government programs in their respective districts to avoid scenarios like the exposé of the rot at Abim Hospital which was highlighted after opposition poitical leader Dr. Kizza Besigye visited the hspital on December 5, 2015 during presidential campaigns.
“You must do your oversight roles properly to improve on service delivery. In the case of Abim Hospital saga in north-eastern Uganda, which was only exposed after Dr. Besigye visited the facility on December 5, 2015, but the money to renovate it was approved four months earlier. They did nothing until Besigye went there. Do we have to wait for Besigye to wake us up? Recently it took the whole President to go to Wakiso district to expose the rot in a government health facility. Nobody takes action until the President comes around. Your Chief Administrative Officer is not coming to office in time and you do nothing about it. It is embarrassing to leave your work to the President”, says minister Kwiyucwiny.
The minister made the remarks on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at the Gulu District Council Hall during her maiden tour of northern Uganda as the new minister. She was meeting local government officials including Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), CAOs. Local Council V Chairpersons, Mayors, National Resistance Movement (NRM) district chairpersons, Regional Police Commander, the Regional Internal Security Officer among others from the Acholi sub-region.
The minister noted that there is public outcry about service delivery and that the matter is frustrating President Museveni. This familiarization tour took the minister in four venues in the sub-regions of West Nile, Acholi, Lango and Elgon under which her docket supervises.
“There is public outcry about poor service delivery and this matter is frustrating His Excellency the President. We are called to be accountable in this regard, and this can only be achieved by improving the quality of services we offer to the public; and I implore you as government officials to commit towards their implementation”, she says.
Minister revealed that the focus of government on Household income enhancement is in tandem with the country’s vision of transforming Uganda to a middle income status by the year 2020. She says the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government has designed strategic guidelines and directives for 2016-2021 which includes attracting investors and creating an enabling environment for investors, zero tolerance to corruption, progressing from subsistence farming to commercial farming, environmental protection and poor service delivery.
“In order to attain sustainable development, we need to protect our environment. Although our people have settled in their homes, statistics have revealed that majority are engaged in fuel wood and charcoal production for business as a way of livelihood, encroachment on wetlands is also rampant and urban centers do not have proper waste management systems”, says Minister Kwiyucwiny.
In order to achieve this development, the government has extended Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP), Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) for another five years and Agricultural Livelihood Recovery Program (ALREP), now renamed Development Initiatives for Northern Uganda (DINU) is in advance stage of being renewed.
“Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) will continue working with all actors, to play our monitoring and oversight role in all programs geared towards effective and efficient programs/projects coordination and implementation”, says Minister Kwiyucwiny.
Northern Uganda has come a long way since September 2006 when Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel ceased armed hostilities. The government has moved towards expanding health, education, water services as well as initiating peace building, resettlement and reintegration programs of the affected communities.
According to United Nation Development Program (UNDP) 2015 country report under the theme: Unlocking the Economic Potential of Northern Uganda, which was released recently by its Resident Representative, Ms. Almaz Gebru, Development Index of Northern Uganda grew from 0.412 in 2005/06 to 0.431 in 2012/13 and narrowing of the margin with the rest of the country national average of 0.463.