The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga says it is time Parliament pushed government to devolve more powers to local governments so as to improve service delivery.
Speaking at the burial his police guard, Cpl Justus Twinomujuni’s son, Mpuuga attributed the breakdown in healthcare services to government’s reluctance to empower local governments leaving them incapacitated yet they are in charge of overseeing and supporting services at local level.
14 year-old Brian Twinomujuni suffered sudden death and doctors from the District Health facility could not tell the exact cause of his death. He was buried at Kayina village, Rwimi sub County in Bunyangabu district, on Sunday.
Mpuuga used Brian’s sudden death to explain to the mourners the need to improve Uganda’s healthcare system at the lower levels.
“Time has come for us leaders to open a honest conversation about the governance issue in this country. We have all been let down by decentralization; time to discuss proper devolution of powers is now or never… we have tested the bitter pill of decentralization and it’s time to rethink the whole concept and empower communities to deal with their challenges” Mpuuga said.
Mpuuga says much power is concentrated in the office of the president who determines who gets better treatment and which district or area gets what. He says, elected leaders in local governments better understand the challenges in communities within tare best suited to deal with challenges experienced in areas under their jurisdiction since they better understand local challenges if empowered.
Mpuuga says time for debating the do’s and dont’s of decentralization is over.
Responding to the Rwimi LC 3 chairman, Ambrose Katabaazi, the LOP said, the Opposition is planning to re-introduce the decentralization debate in parliament and cause for an amendment of the Local Governments Act to pave way for the devolution of power from the center.
“This should be part of the bigger debate in the 11th parliament to discuss the concept of power sharing in this country otherwise we shall keep lamenting and suffering without getting a lasting solution to power and what power is for” he said.