The minister issued the stern warning while delivering her keynote speech at the opening of a 2-day inception meeting on the 2021-2026 manifesto implementation strategy at the Presidency Ministry’s Conference Hall on Wednesday.
In her message to Local government top leaders who included LC5 district chairpersons, Chief Administrative Officers, Presidential advisors and Resident District Commissioners from the central region, Babalanda decried the laziness among some NRM party cadres and/or leaders at the grassroots in regard to implementing the NRM manifesto. This is despite government putting in place all mechanisms, structures and enablers for the implementation and communication of its programmes.
“It’s now time to work! Anyone who is not ready to move with us will automatically have to pave way for those that are ready to deliver. Government has done so much and achieved a lot for the socioeconomic transformation of our people but you still hear people saying it has done nothing. But that’s because you our field officers don’t communicate these gains to the masses who seem not to know,” Babalanda said.
She challenged the Local Government leaders to change their mindset from that of laziness and always waiting to be directed on what to do yet there is a lot for them to do.
“That attitude of laziness and clamouring for free money should stop. The government through the Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) has done its part but there are still glaring gaps. These gaps are caused by you the field officers who are our implementers on the ground. Please get to work and avoid coming to such training meetings to simply draw allowances but fail to work,” she said.
She tipped these leaders to use the various avenues such as the media and barazas among others, to communicate government projects to enable citizens to know the gains, efficiency and effectiveness of the NRM government so as to stem the growing apathy within the masses.
The minister’s call was echoed by MIU Director, Willis Bashaasha, who appealed to these leaders to adopt the presidential guidelines on manifesto implementation.
According to Bashaasha, the president guided that the manifesto be implemented basing on the five characteristics that define the NRM government in this political term. These include: cohesion, zero corruption, consolidation of regional markets, patriotism and faultless service delivery.
“You must work together and give coherent messages to the masses; that’s the meaning of cohesion,” he said. He noted that as people charged with manifesto implementation on the ground, they must read and understand the manifesto, which will also help them to stop selfishly owning up government projects as their won for cheap political capital.
“You should adopt the culture of reading because almost all government guidelines and communication are issued through writing. Through this you’ll even be able to equip yourselves with full knowledge of contents of manifesto because 80% of government manifesto commitments are implemented in the local governments that were created through the decentralization system. it will also help you to stop owning up government programmes in local governments because all these are always policy commitments in the manifesto, ” he said.
The inception meeting drew local leaders from the 27 districts of the central region but according to Bashaasha, the MIU will conduct similar meetings to ensure that all manifesto implementation stakeholders across the country have been engaged.
“We decided to start with the central region because of its peculiar significance but definitely we shall cover the entire country. Our thinking is that it is after sensitizing these local leaders on their roles in manifesto implementation that we shall ask them for results based on what we trained them to do,” he said.