The central government has been warned against interference with local government structures as it continues to hinder effectiveness and efficiency of the decentralization policy.
The warning was issued as local government in partnership with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment ( ACODE ) and GAPP program convened the first ever national conference at Hotel Africana to analyze the impact of the decentralization policy in Uganda.
It’s been 22 years since Uganda initiated the Decentralisation Reform in 1992 and the Decentralization Policy in 1997 under the Local Government Act of 1997.
On Tuesday, August 13, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda joined officials from the Local Government, policy makers, and civil society in the first ever national conference on decentralization to discuss how the model has performed.
Even though the model has registered significant success, a recent study conducted by researchers Ramathan Gobi and Elijah Mushemeza supported by ACODE has revealed the policy commenced with vigor but slowed down along the way.
Crippled by inadequate financing, a capacity building gap, Economist Ramathan Gobi also lead researcher on the paper Financing Local Governments in Uganda noted Central government interference cannot be ignored.
Gobi says this has limited project ownership and implementation from local governments.
The Executive Director ACODE Arthur Bainomugisha however says a retooled and empowered local government will build the capacity of the citizens to demand for better service delivery.
With the local government now turned into a sector the wide approach lays in policy reforms that strengthen local governments.