By Vision reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned Resident District Commissioners against handling land cases saying their major responsibility is to investigate what the problem is; what the law says; and cross check with the land offices before submitting reports to the relevant authorities for action.
“Your job is like the ancient process of hunting. You can’t say modern RDCs can’t do what ancient hunters did. If somebody is chased from their land, you must check who started it, what the law says and cross check with the land offices or the courts. You then submit your report to the desk officers for action,” the President said, adding that the Office of the President will be required to recruit about ten desk officers handling five districts each to scrutinize reports and take action through the relevant authorities.
Museveni was addressing Resident District Commissioners and their deputies, Regional Police Commanders and Regional Internal Security Officers at the end of a one week retreat held at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi.
“The problem is corruption and negligence by you people. The law on land is very clear. It is you people who cause corruption. When a representative of the President becomes useless, then the system is in trouble. Once you investigate a case, do it thoroughly and act. The thieves will run away if they know there are consequences. Don’t leave cases half baked because this encourages them to continue thieving,” he said.
The President urged the RDCs to promote patriotism and create an atmosphere which can help people to prosper saying NRM stands on the principal of patriotism because of the people’s interests.
“The problem with NRM is the lack of priests. You cannot have a Pope without priests..that is NRM. It is a religion without priests but with many followers. You need to sensitize people on how to live a prosperous life by being a producer not a parasite,” he said urging them to kill peasantry through transformation by encouraging people to get out of subsistence farming to commercialized agriculture and cause social economic transformation. You cannot have peasants forever, that is why we need education and that is why we started UPE, USE etc,” he said.
Museveni urged them to use radios to highlight government’s achievements and to emphasize especially to the young people the need to be enterprising. He called on them to be vigilant in monitoring government programmes including fighting land fragmentation. He also agreed to the idea of relocating the Barazas programme to the RDC office saying this will save money and also be a more regular platform for interactions instead of a once a year activity.
The dean of RDCs who is also the RDC Masindi district Capt. Martha Asiimwe who presented a memorandum on behalf of the RDCs said more attention in government is put on anti-corruption agencies yet these can’t detect or stop fraud prior but only come in to do postmortems. She called on government to empower the office of RDCs to strengthen their role to monitor and supervise government services and programmes.
She also criticized the handling of barazas which she described as ceremonial and expensive, suggesting that the money should be channeled to the RDCs offices to ensure frequent and cost effective barazas in the whole district. She called for closer working relationships among government bodies saying working in isolation is in its self, ideological disorientation.