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Revitalize local government system to build public spirit for service

Every May 1, United Nations Member States honour the contribution of workers to national development.

This year’s theme – “Promoting the Public Spirit in the Public Sector”, reminds us of what is needed in most developing countries including Uganda. More and better jobs, decent working conditions and a better work culture infused by positive values.

There is no greater virtue to be found in a citizen than the public spirit, and this is why it is very important for every individual to identify themselves with the interests of nation, community or organization that they serve.

This is an opportunity to recall that universal values such as ethics are deeply ingrained in all cultures including African culture based on time tested wisdom.

Today inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals we have an opportunity to rekindle our spirit of public service by linking it to our heritage.

In Southern Africa, ‘Ubuntu’ is a widely cherished and practiced indigenous cultural philosophy based on the notion that ‘a universal bond of sharing connects all humanity’: That ‘my humanity is connected and is inextricably bound up with yours.’

That’s why last month we joined our South African brothers and sisters to mourn the loss of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader who dedicated her life to serve the people of her nation.

A related cultural value in Uganda is ‘Obuntu bulamu’, an expression of ‘healthy humanness’ that conveys ‘the possession of courtesy, compassion, good upbringing and being cultured. We also have ‘Bulungi bwansi" literally translated into ‘service or for the good of the community’ in other words ‘public spirit’ - which promotes volunteerism based on good ethics.

These values are enshrined in the National Ethical Values Policy and promote sustainable development. The thread of bulungi bwansi runs central in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a reflection of the global public spirit. The United Nations was founded on ideals of promoting the public spirit.

The preamble of the UN Charter states that, ‘We the people of the United Nations determined ….. to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom …. to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples’; which illuminates the public spirit.

In Uganda the United Nations Systems, which includes 18 agencies, supports the Government and people of Uganda to achieve the national development objectives outlined in Vision 2040 and the Second National Development Plan (NDPII) through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

At the heart of this and the 2030 Agenda is a shared ambition to develop opportunities for sustainable job creation and inclusive growth.

Uganda is widely recognized for producing a wide range of excellent policies on social, economic and development issues. It is key to ensure that people in public service at all levels are well informed of existing policies and are able to define new approaches to ensure implementation.

The UN System in Uganda stands ready to support the Government of Uganda in the transition from good policies to good practices so that the public sector can effectively fulfil the public spirit and people across the nation can be part of improving their quality of life.

There is also need to revitalize the Local Government System: Uganda’s Local Government System has in the past been widely acclaimed as a global example to fulfill the public spirit. However, it is now recognized that this local government system is not functioning optimally.

There are numerous efforts by various development partners to support the Government to address capacity building challenges for a while without significant results. We need renewed leadership to re- examine how to revitalize the Local Government System given that it is the branch of the Public sector which engages most directly with citizens.

A strengthened Local Government System is key if we are to successfully implement the National Vision 2040 including transformational policies with regards to youth empowerment, inclusive green growth and refugee management.

The United Nations System in Uganda is committed to engaging with Government, private sector, cultural and religious leaders so that the Local Government System can play its role as a platform to address the needs of citizens and the revitalization of the national public spirit.

 The author is UN Resident Coordinator/UN Resident Representative


0 #1 Akot 2018-05-06 18:52
United Nations is the reason dictators-bad rulers go on in peace rotting people's lives: people seek refuge outside their shithole countries, UN confine them in filthy refugee camps...while UN asks for more donations for refugees!

Does UN condemn demon dictators & block them from addressing UN meetings?

If there was real leadership in developed countries, they would have shaken UN up to either Reform/Dissolove or they wak out of it, to give chance to world peace!

French came out on this May 1 day to make their stand & not to celebrate it!

There will NEVER be revitalization of Uganda local government system unless museveni is out: the demon has the country & its people just where he wants them to be!...
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+1 #2 Akot 2018-05-06 18:57
...Museveni shall have been in power for 35 years at end of this term & has already made it clear it's him & no other to win, so:

How can any Ugandan still talk of revitalization of local govt. system that the demon put in place to make sure Ugandans stay divided, poor, powerless...at his mercy for ever?

How can Ugandans talk of revitalization when they only thing they should do is call for UNTY of ALL to throw museveni out, then start breathing freely, before they start revitalizing systems?

Why are Ugandans accepting museveni for ever & resigned to his liftime lunacy & why would the demon start suddenly to work for Ugandans?

Good Lord, this article makes one believe museveni has just been in power for 5 years!
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+2 #3 Phalanch 2018-05-06 21:22
Madam Rosa , Thanks again for your time and effort put into the article . However 2 things here that are beyond my understanding .

We all know there is NO such institution as "government " and so there is no leader .

In that context a failed system that has murdered anything and everything pure and natural drugging the nation into a bottomless pit ,is nothing but a death sentence rather a hope of new life.
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+1 #4 Akot 2018-05-07 19:09
Phalanch, thanks.

I don't understand how/why Ugandans have become so self destructife to a point of no return!

How can there be no opposition leadership when we MUST get back our country, get our 2 independence?

Say, if if Kony sneaks in & kills museveni, what will Ugandans do without leadership & who will pay tribal leaders when museveni their chief, won't be there?

But Kony is not a man when it comes to handling museveni: Kony only goes to war against armless villagers & lives in jungles like an animal while museveni will own even Acholiland!

Refusing to have 1 of our own as leader is 1 thing, but what will happen when museveni will be no more in 30 years or is he going to live forever?

Because Ugandans have surrendered to museveni & accepts non of their own & museveni is absolute authority without opposition, right?
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+3 #5 Lysol 2018-05-07 20:19
This article is a non starter. The ship is slowly sinking and whatever nonsense ideas the corrupt UN comes with, it will not save it.
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0 #6 Akot 2018-05-08 19:16
Lysol, thanks!

UN is a government without country & lives through miseries of people that brings it billions!

It's up to Ugandans to UNITE & stop museveni, as it's for developed countries to get out of UN & bring it down too, if there is to be a beginning to world PEACE!

The only time UN comes out is to ask for more donatins for refugees while UN builds filthy refugee camps or refugees impose themselves on developed countries & demand their rights to humanity!

UN turns blind eyes/deaf ears to Uganda ruled through a disgusting tribalistic system while it says it's a peaceful country for refugees from countries at armed war!

Developed world will begin solving thier own mess if they say NO to UN as Ugandans will have a start when they say NO to museveni in UNITY!
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+1 #7 Trevor Tigana 2018-05-09 15:02
Wishful thinking, nothing to revitalize no more, all ggovt agencies are infested with incompetence, corruption of the first division.

Solution is get rid of all, arrest the gluttonous hogs in positions &waste them publicly, hire new recruits with a clean slate.
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0 #8 Akot 2018-05-09 18:15
Trevor Tigana, understood.

Unless the rotten head is cut off & the entire system he put in place goes with him, there is no chance for improvement for Ugandans!

D.Trump just got rid of 1 USA problems by getting his country out of Iran nuclear deal that was so 1 sided: USA-Europe get benefit from the hypocritical deal through trade (Total, sales of aircrafts...), while Iranians go poor!

Once thr rags are used, why even look back at them?

Ugandans prefer going along with museveni & one wonders why!
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