A nationwide network of district commissioners loyal to NRM party and its leader Museveni has been crucial to his stay in power since 1986.
Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | In a bid to fortify the political landscape in Uganda’s Central Region, Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) members, and District Internal Security Officers (DISOs) have been summoned to amplify their endeavors in rallying support for the sitting President, Yoweri Museveni. The focus of this collective effort is to ensure a sustained leadership tenure for President Museveni, extending beyond the impending 2026 elections.
Hajji Yunus Kakande, the Permanent Secretary in the President’s office, highlighted the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) challenge in the Central Region, where a significant portion of the population comprises youth.
Immediate grassroots mobilization is deemed crucial, with RDCs and intelligence officers playing pivotal roles in monitoring and evaluating the effective implementation of government programs.
Hajji Kakande emphasized the need for a reorientation of the youth, recognizing that the fixed elections scheduled for January 2026 are fast approaching. The focus lies on engaging and mobilizing the youth population to ensure increased voter turnout and support for President Museveni’s continued leadership.
“It’s upon you to talk to the youth because they are the ones who support the opposition more. Orient them about the development which is being steered by the ruling government,” said Hajji Kakande.
Hajji Kakande delivered these remarks during his official role at a two-day Capacity Building Workshop for Resident District Commissioners/Resident City Commissioners and their Deputies, District Internal Security Officers, and Regional Internal Security Officers in Mukono District in the Central Region of Uganda.
Recalling his experience during the 2021 elections, Hajji Kakande disclosed that in the area where he cast his vote, the opposition garnered the majority of votes. Notably, he found himself as the lone older individual in a queue dominated by youth, who, due to his age, assumed he was not aligned with the opposition.
This personal anecdote underscores the importance of connecting with and mobilizing the younger demographic, a task assigned to the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and District Internal Security Officers (DISOs).
Analyzing the 2021 Electoral Commission (EC) results, President Museveni secured 5.8 million votes out of the 9.9 million cast, while his closest competitor, Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi of the NUP, garnered 3.4 million votes. The data revealed that the NRM received a modest 35 percent in the Central Region, with Mr. Kyagulanyi securing 62.01 percent.
Hajji Kakande charged the RDCs and DISOs with the responsibility of identifying government institutional gaps and ensuring the timely delivery of services. Emphasizing the positive impact of the NRM government, especially under Museveni’s leadership, he stressed the need to sensitize the public about key developmental programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and the progress made in implementing the NRM Manifesto, among other initiatives.
“As RDCs it’s high time you stayed on the ground and very soon we are going to get you “lieutenants” to help on the ground to mobilize and sensitize people about the programs of the government like the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga,” Hajji Kakande emphasized.
He urged RDCs and Intelligence Officers to report instances of corruption or attempts to undermine government programs to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police or the Inspector General of Government (IGG), providing concrete evidence instead of relying on intelligence reports that may not prompt any action.
This directive, however, introduces a perceived contradiction, as the public expects RDCs and Intelligence Officers to align with their roles as servants of the State, rather than being affiliated with political parties or specific individuals. This raises concerns about maintaining an impartial stance in their duties.
During the workshop, former Vice President Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, who presented on Population Health and Wellness, appealed to RDCs to comprehend the nature of their responsibilities and emphasized the importance of mutual respect in executing their duties.
Dr. Wandira Kazibwe highlighted the need for security personnel to communicate their actions effectively to the public in a language they can understand. She cautioned that without this clarity, public applause at events may not translate into tangible changes.
In her presentation, Dr. Wandira Kazibwe advised against polygamy, citing research on sexual psychology that she conducted. She pointed out that men with multiple partners often struggle to satisfy any of them. Emphasizing the positive impact of sexual activity on mental health, she provided wellness tips for men to adopt if they aspire to lead longer and healthier lives.
As the Special Presidential Advisor on Population Health, Dr. Wandira Kazibwe proposed a shift in government health systems, advocating for designs centered around people rather than diseases and institutions. This approach, she argued, would better cater to the well-being of the population.
“The government at all levels must underscore the importance of action beyond the health sector to pursue a whole of government approach to health, including health-in-all-policies and a strong focus on equity and interventions that encompasses the entire life course,” she said.
Maj. Martha Asiimwe, the head of the RDC Secretariat, affirmed that the Secretariat remains committed to providing guidance to the commissioners, ensuring they fulfill their roles effectively and in accordance with their responsibilities.
“The conversation is very important between the people you work with and those you lead. We can at times discuss challenges one on one, they must be handled as they arise. We should not wait for an opportunity like this one because we may not be able to resolve the challenges impeding our performance,” Maj. Asiimwe said.
Dean of RDC, Justine Mbabazi, outlined several challenges faced by the RDCs. These encompassed obstacles such as difficulties in securing airtime or space on certain media platforms to disseminate information about government programs.
Additionally, internal discord was noted, with instances of conflict between senior RDCs and their Deputies, contributing to a lack of cohesion within the NRM members.