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Most Ugandans paying for freely provided govt services

By John Masaba

Added 23rd October 2019 03:16 PM

Peace Mutuuzo, who is the minister of State for Gender, Labour and Social Development, said this is resulting in waste as services are not being consumed especially by intended beneficiaries such as the rural poor women.

Most Ugandans paying for freely provided govt services

Peace Mutuuzo, who is the minister of State for Gender, Labour and Social Development (File photo)

Peace Mutuuzo, who is the minister of State for Gender, Labour and Social Development, said this is resulting in waste as services are not being consumed especially by intended beneficiaries such as the rural poor women.

SERVICE DELIVERY

Most Ugandans are unaware of services provided by the Government and this is severely affecting the uptake of state provided amenities, a cabinet minister has said.

Peace Mutuuzo, who is the minister of State for Gender, Labour and Social Development, said this is resulting in waste as services are not being consumed especially by intended beneficiaries such as the rural poor women.  She noted that this was also responsible for the high cases of corruption as this was forcing some people to resort to paying bribes to access government services.

Citing the situation in critical areas such as energy, the ministers said: "Many rural homes are going without power yet there are free connections to electricity as of now."

 She said, for example, that while government institutions such National Water and Sewerage Corporation had embarked on a vigorous campaign to connect new clients upcountry in the last few years, many of piped water lines which have swallowed colossal sums of money in investment were lying idle with nobody to utilise them.

The minister also said many zonal land offices are currently idle because "people think you can only access a land title when you come to Kampala."  

Mutuuzo said unless something is done to create awareness, the welfare of many Ugandans would continue to drop while others would resort to alternative means some of which are costly to the environment.  

"Some people may not connect their homes to power and therefore the environment will continue suffering. We will continue authorizing charcoal burning and cutting down trees for firewood which are harmful to the country," she said.  

A recent National Service Delivery Survey showed that the health sector was the most affected by the knowledge gap about what is on offer to citizens.

The report, for example, said, that many patients were paying for drugs despite the government providing them free of charge.  

"To the extent that a patient pays for drugs at government health facilities, bribery or fraudulent charging is likely to have been a factor in the transaction," the report said.

According to the report, more than 15% of patients visiting government health facilities pay to access services which should be provided free of charge.

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