OpED

OPINION: Is government too big for nothing?

Muhimbise George is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation (PHOTO /Courtesy)

In his popular song “Ebintu bizibu”, the Ugandan Kadongo kamu singer Hassan Ndugga sang that a cow gives birth to one calf while a dog gives birth to many puppies but we have a bigger population of more cows than dogs! In other words the dogs are born too many but for nothing!

Todate, Ugandan government is still gambling around trying to generate a list of vulnerable people who will receive Covid 19 relief funds as we enter the fourth week of the lockdown that was announced by President Museveni!

Whereas the President acted in a shabby manner when he locked down the country without a plan on how people would survive, the failure by his government to come up with clear list of the vulnerable people for now three weeks and the shambolic manner in which this exercise has been conducted has exposed the highest level of incompetence that any government can demonstrate!

With the political leadership of two million people, a huge public service of over 500,000 people, a number of intelligence networks and militias that are heavily paid by the tax payers it’s embarrassing that to date government can’t figure out which people deserve to be helped!

With a local council system of ten people per village, with other committees for youth and women, why would it be hard for government to generate a list of the vulnerable people to be helped?

How would government fail to know who the boda bodas or tax drivers are yet there is a ministry of transport that oversee their work on top of many other associations of those groups and government

How would government fail to have clear data of the vulnerable people when we have Uganda Bureau of Statistics, National Planning Authority, National Population Council, National Information Registration Authority and many others?

In this era of technology why should government fail to have a system that captures data of all Ugandans and what they do? What is the role of the ministry of science and technology or ICT if they can’t have such innovations?

Why can’t government have a central data base where every Ugandan’s data would be captured including what they do, how they earn, how they live etc!

Such data would be mandatorily collected during simcard registration, enrolling for education or health services, acquiring for driving permits, applying for jobs, purchasing of motor vehicles, opening accounts in SACCOs or banks etc and with time the government would generate data of all Ugandans in a single system.

Such a system would be put on line and people’s data would be uploaded from allover the country at any time and this would later not only help in planning but also in taxing Ugandans and fighting criminality! But how can this be achieved when you have a 70 year old woman like Sebugwawo as a minister for ICT?

Our government is too tired to do anything effectively and that’s why any project they start can not move forward.

Muhimbise George [email protected], 0787836515

The author is a member of Alliance for National Transformation

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