Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) are set to eat big in the 2018/19 National Budget.
A Report of the Committee on Presidential Affairs on The Ministerial Policy Statements and Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2018/19 obtained by Business Focus recommends that Parliament approves Shs2.69bn to facilitate appointment of 10 RDCs in new districts.
“The Committee recommends that Shs2.69bn be provided to the Office of the President in FY 2018/19 to enable appointment of 10 RDCs in fulfillment of Article 2o3 (1) of the Constitution,” the report reads in part.
The 10 RDCs arise out of creation of four new Districts of Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda that came into operation in the FY 2016/17 and Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabo that were operationalized in the FY 20I7 /18.
The report further reveals that out of the 112 districts, Office of the President has constructed RDCs Offices in 28 districts, rents offices in 23 districts while RDCs in 7 districts are accommodated by District Local Governments.
“In the FY 2018/19, Office of the President plans to construct one (1) at a cost of ShsO.7bn. The Committee further observes that accommodating RDCs in Offices of District Local Governments is likely to constrain the monitoring mandate of RDCs bestowed on them,” the report says, adding: “The committee recommends that Shs2.9bn be provided, to the Office of the President in FY 2018/19 to enhance construction of RDCs offices to at least one per region per financial year. That’s likely to address the Office accommodation challenges for RDCs in the medium term.”
The Committee also observed a huge funding gap of Shs17.76bn to procure 120 vehicles for the RDCs and DRDCs as the cost of maintaining the old fleet is extremely exorbitant in addition to the desire to procure vehicles for RDCs in newly created Districts.
“The current provision only allows the Office of the President to procure only 1O vehicles. With this provision, it will take about 13 years to procure the required vehicles for the RDCs. Members observed that the current fleet is too old and this increases the maintenance costs. The Committee therefore recommends that Shs17.76bn be provided, to enable the office of the President procure the 12O vehicles both for replacement of the old fleet and for the new districts,” the report reads.
President Yoweri Museveni has come under fire for expanding public expenditure through creation of new districts that add less value to the ordinary Ugandan.