By Hason Mutunzi Bwambale
Parliament has rejected the government’s proposal to disband public agencies, including the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADs), and Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). Legislators challenged the lack of detailed analysis regarding the cost and legal implications of the proposed realignments.
The decision followed a heated debate during a parliamentary session, where legislators expressed discontent with what they deemed a rushed transformative move without a comprehensive breakdown of potential consequences. Members of Parliament proposed a thorough evaluation to ensure the proposed mergers align with national development objectives and adhere to legal obligations.
The government had initially suggested dissolving these agencies to achieve cost efficiency and improve service delivery. Parliament raised the need for an in-depth examination to assess the impact on employees, stakeholders, and the respective sectors served by these agencies.
The MP for Budadiri Hon. Nathan Nandala Mafabi , a prominent Parliament member, highlighted the potential risks of hasty mergers without proper planning or consideration, emphasizing the need to protect employees’ interests and ensure the smooth functioning of crucial sectors such as infrastructure development, agriculture, and coffee production.
The Speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among, stressed the importance of transparency and evidence-based decision-making. She urged the government to provide detailed reports on the projected costs and legal implications of the proposed mergers before further consideration. The Speaker stated that a comprehensive assessment would allow informed discussions to weigh potential benefits against risks and challenges associated with these consolidations.
The government has agreed to postpone the implementation of agency dissolutions pending the submission of requested reports. A thorough evaluation is expected to shed light on financial implications, human resources considerations, and sector-specific impacts before any final decision is made.
Parliament’s decision to halt the disbandment of these public agencies underscores the importance placed on due diligence and comprehensive analysis in policy-making processes. It also highlights lawmakers’ vigilance in safeguarding the interests of affected employees, stakeholders, and the broader economy.
As Uganda awaits the completion of evaluation reports, discussions on proposed mergers are expected to continue in parliament, ensuring the nation finds a balanced approach aligning with long-term goals of efficiency and service improvement while minimizing disruption to crucial sectors.
Over time, experts have argued that many agencies have been created to facilitate jobs for people who have nothing to do, raising the cost of employing individuals technically doing nothing. This puts into the spotlight how agencies have improved service delivery. Experts further argue that many parallel agencies perform similar functions but are supervised by different arms of government, leading to contradictions and accountability issues.