A recent High court suit challenging the qualifications of Rukungiri deputy resident district commissioner (RDC) Harriet Nakamya is threatening to put more RDCs in trouble.
The Observer has learnt that opposition lawmakers announced they were working on another petition to pin what they call “unqualified RDCs.”
Article 203 of the Constitution and Section 70 of the Local Government Act (as amended in 2010) set A-level or its equivalent as the minimum academic requirement for one to be appointed as RDC, but many are said to have questionable academic papers.
“Appointments of RDCs are essentially political rewards to regime cronies but in particular to those serving the person of Museveni without questioning,” says Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka municipality MP and shadow minister for the Presidency and Anti-Corruption Affairs.
Mpuuga says he is leading public interest litigation against retired and serving RDCs with questionable academic qualifications.
A review of the RDCs’ list presented before Parliament in October last year by Presidency Minister Frank Tumwebaze is revealing. It shows, for instance, that the then Bundibugyo RDC Samuel Kazinga has an O-level certificate, listed as his only academic qualification.
This also applies to Kayunga RDC Nahori Oyaa and Alex Odongo, the Nebbi deputy RDC. Odongo has an EACE (East African Certificate of Education), the 1970s equivalent of UCE (Uganda Certificate of Education) O-level certificate.
The list also highlights some unusual qualifications although it does not indicate the awarding institutions. Jinja RDC Judith Rwakishumba, for instance, presented a diploma in Ideological Separation of Politics.
Queries over the RDCs’ academic qualifications were first raised in 2011 when the Presidential Affairs Parliamentary committee forced the then minister for Presidency Beatrice Wabudeya to present the RDCs’ list, indicating their qualifications.
MPs raised serious queries, and Wabudeya pleaded that the list should not be made public, arguing that disclosure would cause disharmony. A year later, the same committee made their demands bolder, threatening not to approve the ministry’s budget unless it availed the list of RDCs and their qualifications.
The list had at least 26 RDCs with doubtable academic testimonials but the presidency pleaded with the lawmakers to pass the ministry budget. The ministry promised to ask RDCs to produce certified copies.
“When we stuck to our guns [in 2012], they [government] asked for more time because the RDCs were still submitting their documents,” Mpuuga said, adding that the more time government requested for, allowed RDCs to forge documents.
Some of the RDCs with questionable documents were dropped in an August 2012 reshuffle and the lucky ones redeployed as presidential aides.
Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West MP), who was then the chairperson of the Presidential Affairs committee, told us that the committee’s scrutiny of the qualifications revealed that about 50 per cent of the RDCs had forged documents. Some of the academic testimonials presented by the RDCs are unknown to the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
NCHE senior Legal and Corporate Relations Officer Faridah Bukirwa was perplexed when we asked her about some of the qualifications.
“Are those qualifications held by people in Uganda?” she wondered. “What are the awarding institutions? We need to know the awarding institutions such that we can verify whether they are part of the programmes that we licensed them to offer,” she said.
She told us that NCHE’s quality standards unit would investigate the qualifications and ascertain their authenticity. The Presidential Affairs committee had suggested in 2012 that the role of appointing RDCs be transferred to the Public Service Commission, because it would scrutinize qualifications, but this would require an amendment to Article 203(1) that gives the president powers to appoint RDCs.
“That issue caused a lot of fire in Parliament, leading to the  reshuffle of RDCs. That reshuffle was in line with the policy that requires them to be in line with the academic qualification of a senior public service,” said Information and National Guidance Minister Rosemary Namayanja Nsereko.
Namayanja further told us that government had asked the RDCs to present certified copies of their academic documents, which, she said, required them to take their papers to NCHE for verification. But NCHE has no record of any RDC presenting his or her documents for verification.
Below are the qualifications of some of the RDCs as given to Parliament.
| RESIDENT DISTRICT COMMISSIONER
|Sylvester Opira||Dip. In Educ|
|Akello Ebong Agnes||UDBS, BSC of Adult & Com Educ|
||Dip. In Philosophy, B.A (Educ)|
||B.A (Democracy & Dev’t studies, Dip in Entomology|
|Richard Ogwang Odyero||Dip.in Nursing& Dip in Local Governance|
||BSC (Business Admin), Dip in Accountancy|
||Dip in Law, Dip in SWASA|
||Dip in Law (LDC)|
|Yasin Kasibante Dauda
||Higher Dip Cil. Engineering Aviation|
|Major Abiriga Ibrahim||Dip. in Public Admin|
||B.A (Educ), Dip in Educ|
|Kikomeko Mwanamoiza Margaret
||M.A. Educ,BSC, Dip in Educ, Dip in Adv’ced Studies in Educ|
||Cert. in Public Admin|
||BA, Dip in Educ|
|Zephania Mukasa Kityo||Dip in Educ, B. Educ, Dip in Public Admin|
||Finance Officers Diploma|
||Higher Dip in Hotel Management|
||Dip in Clinical & Community health|
||Dip in Environ. Health Science (Public health)|
||Dip in Islamic Studies, Dip in Public & Hospitality Mgt|
||Dip in Media Studies, Dip in Soc Sciences|
||Dip in Business Admin|
|Kasenge John Fisher
||Dip in Educ, B.Educ, MA. Educ|
|Masereka Mutahunga David
||BSC,PDG in Business Mgt (UMI)|
||Cert in Enrolled Nurse/Midwife, Cert in Secretarial|
|Dudu Baker (Maj)
||Bsc, Dip in Political Science|
|John Henry Ariong
||Dip in Educ, B.Educ|
||Grade III Teachers’ Cert|
|Rwafikaari Peter Kibondo
||Dip in Educ, BA,MA (Devt Studies)|
||Dip in Agric, Dip in Coop & Bus. Admin|
|Akwai Aneco Mary
||Dip in Educ, Grade III Teachers’ Cert|
|Hajji Ali Kalungi
||Dip in Electrical Engineering|
|Songhor Chepkurui Christopher
||Dip in Educ, BSC (Statistics)|
||B. Devt Studies, PGD PAM|
|Kamerwa Aline Mary Kyaruha||B.Adult & Comm.Educ, MSc (Env. & Nat. Res.)|
|Josephat Tumwesigye||Dip in Business Admin, BA (Educ)|
|Pulkeria K. Muhindo||LLB|
||Dip in Soc Devt, Grade III Teachers’ Cert|
||Dip in Business Admin, Dip in Customs Clearing & Fwdg|
||Dip in Pulic Admin|
|Kyeyune Damulira||B.Com, PGD PAM, Cert Admin Law|
||Dip in Sec. Educ|
|Kabonesa Julliet. S||M.Plan Admin & Mgt, BASS|
|Rashul Aluma||Dip in Devt studies|
||Dip in Acounting, B. Accounting|
||BA.Mass Com, M. Leadership & Human Relations|
|DEPUTY RESIDENT DISTRICT
|John Robert Omuut
||Dip in Accounts|
|Akello Akori Beatrice
||M.Public Health Leadership, BSC|
||BASS, Dip in Accountancy|
||BA (SS), Dip in Hotel Mgt/ Inst Catering, PGD PAM|
|Meddie Rubanga Barimunsi
||Dip in Educ|
|Emiriya Kinyera||Advanced Cert in English Language (Edinbrough)|
||Dip in Accountancy & Finance|
|Kabuye Nuwagaba Nickson||B.Dev’t Studies, Grade III Teacher|
|Abulswamadu Wantimba||BA (A)|
|Rwakishumba Judith||Dip in Ideological Separation of Politics|
||M. Educ mgt & Admin, BED|
|Biryabarema Elijah||Dip in Bus Admin, Mgt BA (PAM)|
|Stephen Kizubo||Dip in Bus Admin|
||Dip in Accountancy|
|Erayu Moses Mathew||BED|
|Muwonge Zaina||Cert in Midwifery & Nursing|
|H. Kyeyune Lukyamuzi||BA (A,), PGD HRM, PGDE,MA (PAM)|
||Cert in Enrolled Nursing|
||Dip in Tour Travel & Tourism Mgt, BA (SWASA)|
|Kasiita Juuko||Dip in HRM|
||Dip in Educ, BBA|
|Aminadabu Bazarwa Muhindo
||Dip in Educ, B.Educ, PGD PAM, M.Educ|
||Dip in Educ, B. Educ|
||Cert in Stenography|
||Cert in Nursery Teaching|
||Dip in Hotel Mgt & Inst Catering, Dip. Bus Admin|
||B. Educ, Dip in Educ (Sec)|
||BA (Arts), Dip in Electrical Eng.|
||Dip in Devt Studies|
|Opio Bob Stanley||UDBS, CPA (Kenya)|
||M. Public Admin & Mgt, BED|
||Cert in Business Educ.|
|Beth Kakai Maumbe
||Dip in Educ, Cert in Public Admin & Mgt|
||Cert in Enrolled Nursing|
||Dip in Animal Husbandry|
||B.Educ, PGD Arabic Language|
||Cert in Social Mobilisation & Devt|
|Akullu Emilly||BA (SS)|
|Mariam Nakityo Katerega||Dip in Educ, BA (Educ)|
|Evelyn Kiiza Tinkamalirwa
||Cert in Midwifery|
|Kibowa Farida||Bachelor of Public Admin|
|Lt. Kaddu John||Dip in Business studies, Cert in Ram|
|Bernard Oryem||Dip in Banking|
|John Wafula Ogumbo||EAACE|
||Cert in Autocraft Mechanics|
||B. Educ, M.Ed.|
|Sekabito Joseph Kitayimbwa
||B.Com (Banking & Finance), Dip in Accounting|
|Joseph Opio Osotto||BSC (Computer Science & Chemistry)|
||Grade III Teachers’ Cert|
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