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.

Fake documents?

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 [2012] 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.

Sylvester Opira Dip. In Educ
Akello Ebong Agnes UDBS, BSC of Adult & Com Educ
Augustin Asire
Dip. In Philosophy, B.A (Educ)
Ewal George
B.A (Democracy & Dev’t studies, Dip in Entomology
Richard Ogwang Odyero Nursing& Dip in Local Governance
Bewayo Nsubuga
BSC (Business Admin), Dip in Accountancy
Kulwa Charles 
Dip in Law, Dip in SWASA
Odongo Milton
Dip in Law (LDC)
Yasin Kasibante Dauda
Higher Dip Cil. Engineering Aviation
Major Abiriga Ibrahim Dip. in Public Admin
Kule Muranga
Wabudi Edward
Abas Seguya
B.A (Educ), Dip in Educ
Kikomeko Mwanamoiza Margaret
M.A. Educ,BSC, Dip in Educ, Dip in Adv’ced Studies in Educ
Peter Mugisha
Cert. in Public Admin
Micheal Bwalatum
BA, Dip in Educ
Zephania Mukasa Kityo Dip in Educ, B. Educ, Dip in Public Admin
John Watenye
Finance Officers Diploma
Nabendeth Wamoto
Higher Dip in Hotel Management
Beyunga Florence
Dip in Clinical & Community health
Kazinga Samuel
Maliro Gaston
Dip in Environ. Health Science (Public health)
Imuran Muluga
BA (Educ)
Gulume Richard
Walugembe Aramadhan
Dip in Islamic Studies, Dip in Public & Hospitality Mgt
Bwebale Apolo
Dip in Media Studies, Dip in Soc Sciences
Michael Mwanje
Dip in Business Admin
Kasenge John Fisher
Dip in Educ, B.Educ, MA. Educ
Kyomukama Geoffrey
Masereka Mutahunga David
BSC,PDG in Business Mgt (UMI)
Aluma Godfrey UDBS,B.Educ
Nahori Oyaa 
Grace Sendabaguzi
Cert in Enrolled Nurse/Midwife, Cert in Secretarial
Dudu Baker (Maj)
Bsc, Dip in Political Science
John Henry Ariong
Dip in Educ, B.Educ
Feddy Garyahandere
Grade III Teachers’ Cert
Rwafikaari Peter Kibondo
Dip in Educ, BA,MA (Devt Studies)
Okwir Semei
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)
Catherine Lamwaka 
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
Bayeye Kamara
Dip in Soc Devt, Grade III Teachers’ Cert
Mubiru Charles
Dip in Business Admin, Dip in Customs Clearing & Fwdg
Namuyimba Abdallah
Kato Matanda
Bamwine Fred
Ben Etonu 
Dip in Pulic Admin
Kyeyune Damulira B.Com, PGD PAM, Cert Admin Law
Dan Kaguta
Dip in Sec. Educ
Pius Mujuzi
Kabonesa Julliet. S M.Plan Admin & Mgt, BASS
Rashul Aluma Dip in Devt studies
Kaboyo David 
Dip in Acounting, B. Accounting
Mpimbaza Hashaka
BA.Mass Com, M. Leadership & Human Relations
John Robert Omuut
Dip in Accounts
Akello Akori Beatrice
M.Public Health Leadership, BSC
Abdul Ajiga
Nakamya Harriet
Cert Teaching
Namuganza Persis
BASS, Dip in Accountancy
Isingoma Wilson
BA (SS), Dip in Hotel Mgt/ Inst Catering, PGD PAM
Deborah Mbabazi
Meddie Rubanga Barimunsi
Dip in Educ
Emiriya Kinyera Advanced Cert in English Language (Edinbrough)
Mugenyi James 
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
Bbale David 
M. Educ mgt & Admin, BED
Biryabarema Elijah Dip in Bus Admin, Mgt BA (PAM)
Stephen Kizubo Dip in Bus Admin
Dominic Tibasiimwa
Theopista Mbabazi
Dip in Accountancy
Erayu Moses Mathew BED
Namagogwe Hajara
Muwonge Zaina Cert in Midwifery & Nursing
H. Kyeyune Lukyamuzi BA (A,), PGD HRM, PGDE,MA (PAM)
Kirabira Rose 
Cert in Enrolled Nursing
Madoi Elijah
Dip in Tour Travel & Tourism Mgt, BA (SWASA)
Kasiita Juuko Dip in HRM
James Musobo 
Dip in Educ, BBA
Aminadabu Bazarwa Muhindo
Dip in Educ, B.Educ, PGD PAM, M.Educ
Lulaba Isaac
Dip in Educ, B. Educ
Rose Birungi 
Cert in Stenography
Kiiza Oliver 
Cert in Nursery Teaching
Kamwine Catherine
Dip in Hotel Mgt & Inst Catering, Dip. Bus Admin
Ahebwa Gideon
B. Educ, Dip in Educ (Sec)
Kayondo Mulowoza
BA (Arts), Dip in Electrical Eng.
Samuel Kisembo 
Dip in Devt Studies
Opio Bob Stanley UDBS, CPA (Kenya)
Mugabi Martin
M. Public Admin & Mgt, BED
Ben Ruberantware
Cert in Business Educ.
Beth Kakai Maumbe
Dip in Educ, Cert in Public Admin & Mgt
Kizito Josephine 
Cert in Enrolled Nursing
Katemba Rauben
Dip in Animal Husbandry
Badru Ssebyala
B.Educ, PGD Arabic Language
Emmy Mitala
BA (A)
Mugabi Keith 
Takia Nsubuga 
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
Alex Odongo EACE
Justine Mbabazi
Ambrose Onoria
Cert in Autocraft Mechanics
Mbategyereiza Godfrey
B. Educ, M.Ed.
Sekabito Joseph Kitayimbwa
Modesta Elizabeth
B.Com (Banking & Finance), Dip in Accounting
Joseph Opio Osotto BSC (Computer Science & Chemistry)
Aisha Sekindi 
Grade III Teachers’ Cert

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+6 #1 Samuel Bbosa 2014-01-20 01:18
'diploma in Ideological Separation of Politics' hahahahaaa! Hmmm!
0 #2 Prophet wadada 2014-01-20 09:01
Mine has a certificate in Islamic studies, my former RDC was a P.7 drop out.

All that matters is the relationship with the NRM party. If you noticed, many of them can speak English
+2 #3 Grace 2014-01-20 12:58
Sincerely why should some one pay all these taxes to sustain this mediocrity? A country gets leaders it deserves! Really is this what Uganda deserves? Cry the beloved PEARL.
0 #4 Kaguta 2014-01-20 16:33
This Uganda has gone to the dogs really!How can some one with Certificate in Nursery teaching be a deputy RDC? God save Uganda
+1 #5 Faisal Saad 2014-01-20 17:57
Arap Moi had Junior II (old P8) qualification and led a prosperous generally peaceful Kenya.

These RDC Officers are also popular in their areas. Can one flaunt his 10 PhDs, stand on Kampala Road and expect Uganda to vote him/her President because of his/her Magna and Summa Cum Laude arsenal? need to rethink our political thinking.
+1 #6 Pascal bogere 2014-01-20 19:33
Gents and ladies, what do RDCs do. Really? Okuneisa embwa? Who can't do that? Whether educated or not, anyone can do the job. Give us a break.....
0 #7 Fred Kasule 2014-01-20 19:35
A poor country such as Uganda needs to have the best talented managing its affairs. Unfortunately, it appears that mediocrity and academic underachievemen t is not a hindrance to ones political career in Uganda. There's no question that loyalty trumps ability in the appointment of Uganda's leaders.

With so many academic underachievers entrusted with governing, how on earth can they ever believably champion education as the key to a better life for Uganda's impressionable youth who too would like to enjoy the good life?

I have always wondered how effectively do some of our leaders represent the interests of the country to outsiders who undergo more rigorous educational preparation and job training? Learning on the job is not a luxury a poor country like Uganda can afford?
+1 #8 bongo 2014-01-21 01:12
Some may even have PLE.

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