RESIDENT district commissioners (RDCs) from the 40 districts benefiting from the Peace and Recovery Development Plan have decried the increasing political interference which they say is bogging down government programmes.
The RDCs said on Thursday that they were being frustrated by mainly Members of Parliament and district leaders who change work plans, thus diverting projects for egoistic reasons.
They lamented the slow procurement process, complicated by the lack of procurement officers in majority of the projects, which has resulted in failure to implement the targeted programmes.
The concerns were raised during a workshop for RDCs on the dissemination of PRDP/NUSAF implementation and monitoring tools held at Hotel Africana in Kampala. The workshop was organised by the Office of the Prime Minister.
PRDP is a plan to coordinate interventions in northern Uganda.
The Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) coordinator, Robert Limlim said the phase of NUSAF would be launched next week. The project, according to him, will supplement the Governmentâ€™s PRDP resources with a five-year loan of $100m (about sh2b) from the World Bank.
Tororo RDC Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka regretted that the Government had left out RDCs in the implementation programmes of the PRDP.
He said due to lack of adequate information on the programme, some government technical officers had been conniving with district officials to steal government funds.
â€œRDCs have no work plans and this is deliberate because some people are doing something wrong. If you donâ€™t give us money and you donâ€™t involve us PRDP and NUSAF2 will fail.â€
He regretted that often times, district officials and the chief administrative officers make work plans without involving subcounties.
Citing Tororo, Mpibaza said they had overpriced the repair of four boreholes, each at sh3m yet all the boreholes were smoothly operating.
He also said Tororo municipality had included a central division, which is a â€˜ghost areaâ€™ and budgeted sh328m, 10 times higher than the total amount of sh30m allocated to the two genuine divisions of east and west Tororo.
Frances Kuka, the Kapchorwa RDC, regretted the newly introduced sh495,000 facilitation for RDCs. She said the money, a sixnight allowance provided once in three months, was peanuts, given their workload.
Northern Uganda state minister David Wakikona urged the RDCs to monitor NUSAF activities, saying success on the project meant government success.
He regretted that already, half the eligible districts would not get the third quarter of the PRDP funds because they had not accounted for the earlier allocations for the two quarters.
MPs interfering in district budgets