By Pauline Apolot
The National Development Plan (NDP) as a national framework for poverty reduction in Uganda has registered substantial progress in meeting the well intended objectives. In spite of the successes so far registered, poverty remains a major challenge to the citizens of Uganda whereby about 24% of Ugandans remain under the yoke of absolute poverty , a factor that is attributed to government’s increased operations and public administrative costs at the detriment of service delivery. One of the areas where government spends hefty sums of money is through purchase and maintenance of government vehicles. This is made worse when government officials misuse the vehicles which are meant to facilitate their movements while undertaking their duties and responsibilities. The above situation is manifested through the following aspects:
a) A big fleet of government vehicles characterised by some government institutions and individual officers having more vehicles than what is actually necessary to conduct official business, at the expense of service delivery.
b) The abuse of government vehicles which has been perpetuated by uncontrolled movement leading to vehicles being used during non-official work.
c) Use of government vehicles contrary to the Standing Orders of Public Service on the use and care of government vehicles, e.g. that, “Vehicles are used for official duty and are parked and also secured after working hours (i.e. 8.00 am-5.00 pm).
Article 17 (1) (i) of the Constitution of Uganda clearly states that; ‘it is the duty of every Citizen of Uganda to combat corruption and misuse or wastage of public property. It is on this basis that Uganda Debt Network is undertaking this campaign on the misuse of government vehicles.’
The Writer is the Senior Programme Officer
Uganda Debt Network