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By Otim Nape 

During the stormy CEC meeting at State House, Gen Museveni lost his cool and levelled off Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja Musafiri like never before. This was preceded by a debate between the two regarding what must be the priority work for cadres who get posted in districts to serve as Resident District Commissioners (RDCs).

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Gen Museveni asserted that RDCs should primarily be emissaries of development and conduits through whom the government propagates its message of wealth creation and economic transformation. He said he was no longer excited about RDCs concentrating on converting opposition supporters as opposed to amplifying government’s development programs.

He said a good RDC is the one who uses the platform available to him to mobilize people into household wealth creation as opposed to concentrating on fighting opposition MPs and other leaders in the districts where they are deployed. The veteran General from Rwakitura said he was tired of fellow leaders in the NRM party and government who perceive the RDC office as a dumping ground for political failures (basically people who get defeated in elections).

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While insisting that only credible people will be occupying the RDC office, Gen Museveni said he would no longer tolerate Ministers and other big people in government recommending their cronies, relatives and campaign agents for posting as RDCs. He says it will now be a very serious office given to those who have great pedigree for it. That the RDC office should cease to be perceived as one given to people who can’t be employable elsewhere. Gen Museveni generally exhibited dismay at the overall performance of the institution of RDC.

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He blamed failure of many government service delivery programs on the ineptness of RDCs who he faulted for not doing adequate mass mobilization while supervising those tasked with executing or implementing such government programs. Renowned for excellent insight when it comes to diagnosing problems, Gen Museveni told those present at the CEC meeting that he had realized that the desire to stand for MP positions at subsequent elections largely explains why most of the RDCs fail to concentrate on their work as they are always busy scheming on how to enter Parliament.

The implication is if one happens to be deployed in a district he or she wants to stand in, they will expend a lot of time and resources selfishly fighting the wrong battles while overlooking their basic mandate as RDCs. For those seeking to become MPs in places that are far from where they are deployed to serve as RDCs will be absent from their stations for much of the time as they are always away canvassing for support ahead of the next election.

“From now on, the Minister [with RDCs] concerned must clean up that mess. People who want to stand for elections in 2026 shouldn’t be made RDCs because we want people who can concentrate on the work of economic transformation of our people as opposed to those having their eyes on the next election,” Gen Museveni decreed and his remark was understood to be implying that nobody will ever be allowed again to resign from the RDC job to stand for MP and other elective positions.


The contempt with which Gen Museveni commented about the RDC office and performance of work by hundreds of RDCs and their deputies discomforted Premier Robinah Nabanja Musafiri who was in the meeting. Before the big man could even finish developing and submitting his thoughts on the matter, Nabanja spoke back seeking to correct the wrong impression she felt her boss had created.

Herself a former RDC (in Busia), Nabanja wondered how she could have grown into the political colossus she is today if such restrictions had been put in place barring RDCs from resigning to stand for elective positions. The Kakumiro Woman MP, who has been Premier for just months having replaced Ruhakana Rugunda, asserted that the President’s argument against RDC was defective and shouldn’t go un-contradicted.

A fire-breathing Gen Museveni shot back contemptuously asking: “Mpozzi you were RDC where? And what did you achieve for us?” Before he could even finish what he wanted to say, Nabanja responded: “I neutralized Aggrey Awori and got him out of Parliament.” Gen Museveni, now clearly very furious, fired back: “And how did that [ouster of Awori] make better the lives of our poor people in Busia? How did it impact the quality of life lived by our people in Busia?” As Nabanja fidgeted to speak back, Gen Museveni shut her up loudly wondering: “By the way how did you grow up you who can’t listen to others for even one minute?” This humbled Nabanja sending her into total quietness and oblivion as other members present uneasily turned in their seats.

At the end of the day, Gen Museveni insisted there must be quality in the way RDCs are vetted, appointed and posted. It won’t be possible anymore for the RDC office to be one synonymous with mediocrity. The big man from Rwakitura insisted that an excellent RDC will be one who rallies people in the district to cheerfully participate and benefit from government’s numerous economic development and transformation programs like Parish Model and others as opposed to concentrating on fighting opposition leaders or groups in that district.

That whereas political mobilization was okay to, emphasis must be on creating appetite among in the ordinary households to participate and demonstrably benefit from government programs aimed at amplifying wealth creation while uplifting people from household poverty. The same CEC meeting resolved to hold NRM grass root structures elections (costing close to Shs40bn) in May next year as its widely hoped that the country will, by that time, have significantly overcome the Covid19 madness. For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us






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