Recently, the media reported that only seven districts have physical development plans across the country. This is risky for the country to lack the physical development plans, which are critical for planning.
Many districts and cities in the country are grappling with degradations and disorganized towns because of the physical development plans.
The failure to implement the physical development plans in all the districts and the cities, including the failure to allocate enough funds for this purpose is likely to increase the levels of degradation of the various biodiversity such as forests and wetlands across the country.
Among the seven districts with physical development plans, it is only Wakiso local government, which is able to fund its development plan. This means that there is still a big gap for the government to fill. A lot needs to be done to enable districts to have physical development plans that are fully functioning.
We all know that in May 2019, the cabinet of Uganda approved the creation of 15 cities in a phased manner over the course of the next one to three years.
This means that all the new created cities will need the developments and expansion. In the process, the critical biodiversities are likely to get a lot of pressure from the local people, investors and the rich men carrying out housing and other developments.
The physical development plans are needed because they help in the fight against urban and rural poverty, addressing environmental problems, maximizing the use of land and other resources, facilitate orderly development, among others.
I call on all the district physical planners, the Lands, Housing and Urban Development ministry to put in place physical development plans across the country.
We need strong values to fight corruption
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) recently held its 9th Economic Forum. The forum brings together people to discuss and share ideas on topical issues affecting the economy. The mission of the institute is to regulate the accountancy profession in Uganda and beyond in public interest.
Therefore, every citizen should have interest in the activities of the institute because the actions and inactions of the institute and its members affect the general public.
Among the topics presented under the theme was one that appealed to the need for value system change and national culture building that caught my attention. This topic generated a lot of debate. The central question was, what went wrong with Uganda’s quality controls systems? It is agreeable that value addition in the agriculture value chain has a lot of potential to turn around the country’s fortunes.
To exploit this potential, however, quality control is essential at each stage of the value chain. Recently, quality concerns have led to significant losses in foreign exchange earnings. For instance, the rejection of Uganda’s maize exports to Kenya led to significant losses to the country.
The question was whether this could be attributed to lack of integrity. In Uganda, we have several institutions in the agricultural value chain with norms and codes to constrain individual behaviour but we still have challenges of poor-quality inputs and output. What went wrong? Is it lack of institutions of integrity or integrity of institutions?
To achieve purposeful value addition in the agricultural sector, the outcome of the interaction between individual integrity, institutions of integrity and integrity of institutions is very important.
Uganda mostly lacks integrity of institutions and individual integrity. As a country, we have accepted cheating at all levels in all sectors. That is why you see buildings collapsing very often. It is high time we embarked on rebuilding our value systems as a country.
We have managers and leaders but lack integrity. The role of the family in inculcating values in the young generation is key here.
Values alone are not enough without correct actions. The accountability agencies such as auditor general, the police and directorate of public prosecutions and the oversight mechanism in general are merely one manifestation of institutions of integrity but do not in themselves produce ethical leaders.
Edson Serve Ashabahebwa,
River Rwizi is drying up
River Rwizi is located in western Uganda in Ankole sub-region. It serves many districts, including Mbarara, Rwampara, Bushenyi, Sheema, among others.
The river is considered the largest in Ankole sub- region and it serves many districts with water for both animals and crop growing. The river is served by many swamps that include Nyakafumura part of Mushasha water catchment, Kanyabukanja wetland, among others. These swamps serve as water reservoirs or catchments that release water slowly into the river.
However, the river is under threat and is drying up due to human activities. The river has lost a sizeable part of its catchment area because of human activities such as crop growing. The swamps are being cleared due to human pressure to create farmlands for crop growing and animal rearing. For example, Nyakafumura, which is part of Mushasha water catchment, has been cleared.
After clearing the swamps, the papyrus vegetation is then cleared too, leaving the land bare to erosion agents. When it rains, the soil is washed directly into the river and this has resulted into silting, which reduces water volumes. The surrounding areas also dump garbage into the river and this has left river Rwizi drying up.
Surrounding communities and leaders at different levels should come out and stop this threat.
Rein in Buikwe police officers
Former minister Ronald Kibuule used to terrorize people in our region i.e. Mukono and surrounding places when he was minister. Now that we have voted him out because of his bad deeds and the president has answered our calls and dropped him as a minister, we request that we all cooperate to end his brutalizing of people.
Recently, Kibuule, with a contingent of senior police officers, began claiming a portion of Kabaka’s land and threatening tenants there.
While this land matter is still in court, the police officers gave him all the cushion, which he used to address the residents of Kigaya, giving them directives and instructions on a matter that is still in court.
Why should police officers and district officials connive with Kibuule on a matter that is still a subject of court?
Some of these officers even go further and intimidate residents. Government should please help us transfer the resident district commissioner and these police officers out of Buikwe district. They should also be reprimanded.