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Your mail: Letter to president on national security

Dear Mr President, bragging that you have sorted out weevils in police is not enough. Sort out the mess in the whole security system from the army to intelligence agencies.

As long as issues of equal opportunities for training, deployment and promotion are not sorted out, you are wasting time.

External and internal security organisations (ESO & ISO) as well as the police’s crime intelligence bodies should attract smart brains, not friends and family. This should be deliberate and a matter of policy.

Before you got power, you criticized past leaders for using intrigue, religion and tribalism as a weapon. In your last 20 years, you have done the same, if not worse, using handpicked people from other regions to help you prolong your stay.

I interact with some of them; they hate what you are doing but their families must feed. You are putting a certain group in danger if you departed violently, because many people do not feel part of your government but are only there to earn a living. 

You have lost control of the state but you don’t admit it. Call a national conference and redeem your legacy; we will forgive you as long as you admit some of your mistakes.

Dr Gerald Werikhe Wanzala,
Kampala.

Ugandans need reliable electricity

Recently, power distributor Umeme informed the public through social media that downpours could pull down some electricity poles. During the same time, three people were electrocuted in Lubaga division, Kampala.

In January, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) reported that during a standards verification exercise between June and December 2017, some 6,000 out of 6,500 electricity meters the body tested were faulty!

What do such reports mean to Ugandans? If the national power distributor is using substandard electricity meters and has falling poles and collapsing transformers, what should ordinary Ugandans do?

President Museveni and his cabinet should immediately implement the recommendations of the 2009 Salim Saleh committee report on electricity and the 2013 parliamentary ad hoc committee report on electricity provision in Uganda.

The implementation should start with the termination of the Umeme concession, a forensic audit of Umeme investments and returns on those investments.

Balach Bakundane,
Kampala.

Why govt should implement Local Economic Devt policy

It’s now 12 years since government formulated the National Local Economic Development (LED) policy of 2006, as a partnership framework for sub-national economic development.

This framework aimed at supporting the country’s strategy of implementing private sector-led economic interventions; tackling unemployment and enabling sub-national governments to generate their own revenues for service delivery to citizens (rights holders).

Unfortunately, it has never been implemented. Despite a cocktail of policy regimes in Uganda, poverty levels have increased to 27 per cent by 2017, as stated in the Uganda National Household Survey report 2016/17.

The figures are even higher, above 50 per cent, if the level of vulnerability indicators is anything to go by.

Besides, sub-national governments continue to face financial constraints with adverse implication on service delivery outcomes to rights holders. Apparently, Uganda is not starved on policies but, rather, their effective and full-scale implementation.

This calls for renewed momentum and strategies to achieve equitable, gender-responsive and sustainable economic development.

As such, inter alia, Uganda must invest more in production and lesser in the creeping culture of consumption.

The ever mushrooming number of administrative units remains a recurring problem, for it deprives resources for direct service delivery and poverty reduction in Uganda.

For instance, the number of town councils (TCs) across Uganda will increase from the current 233 to 422 at the dawn of financial year 2018/19, of which 111 TCs became operational in FY 2017/18.

This then increases the administrative costs incurred by governments since the people must be paid for any work done. However, after payments, there is seldom any money left to carry out service delivery functions.

We need deliberate investment in the environment and natural resources (ENR) sector, upon which gainful and technological worthy agro–production and productivity are hinged. This will strategically bring aboard the 68 per cent households that currently live under subsisting agriculture.

Even with Shs 832 billion allocation to the agricultural sector in FY 2018/19 in Uganda, deliberate public sector investment in the sector ought to be intentional on key areas like (a) feasible and climate smart agronomic practices (b) conservation of water catchment areas (c) real (not fake) agro-inputs (d) marketing systems (e) dealing with runaway corruption in the sector, and others.

Beyond public policy rhetoric, big launching functions and speeches, successful intentioned implementation of public policy endeavors like the Local Economic Development (LED) will add to aggregate reduction in public sector borrowing, thus sustainable debt management.

Priscilla Naisanga,
Uganda Debt Network.

Jinja referendum has spoken loud

I would like to congratulate Paul Mwiru for winning the Jinja Municipality East MP seat.

Mwiru’s victory is an indicator that Ugandans are bitter with every legislator that supported the bill to remove presidential age limits.

The vote is the only way a poor person can express themselves. I am confident that even if government organises a referendum to extend the presidential term of office to seven years, Ugandans will respond in a similar way as they did in Jinja against Igeme Nabeeta.

The fight continues.

Joel Mukisa
joelmukisa13@gmail.com.

We are all culpable for city floods

Whenever it rains, Ugandans attack government over flooding, forgetting that it is our fault since we always construct houses and cultivate crops in water catchment areas.

We also dump rubbish in drainage channels, hence blocking them. When it rains, water stagnates and it starts overflowing into roads and people’s houses since it has nowhere to pass.

So, the only way to end this carnage is for people to learn proper garbage disposal and for authorities to stop everyone trying to settle in wetlands. It is everyone’s responsibility to report whoever is destroying wetlands.

Sarah Kyobe,
Kampala.

letters@observer.ug

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