Paidha councillors lack leadership, administrative skills; undergo orientation

Paidha Town Council councillors and other government officials posing for a group photo after receiving certificates following a one-week training in leadership and management skills in Zombo District. (Image: George Buatre)

It has been observed that especially newly elected politicians at lower local government and village levels in Uganda are unknowledgeable about political leadership and management skills that has created a vacuum in task execution.

The gap has been cited in different parts of the country including Paidha town council in Zombo district and Hoima district with the town clerk, Mr Edmond Odota and the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Emmy Kateera Turyabagyenyi, respectively saying the councillors and village chairpersons’ lack of knowledge about deliberations swayed council deliberations and village work execution respectively.

In Paidha, the authorities have now oriented the councillors while in Hoima plans to conduct the induction are underway.

Having been identifies as lacking enough managerial and leadership skills, 15 councillors of Paidha town council have been trained in better communication skills, conflict management, local government policy, human rights and peace, and project planning and management among others.

The Paidha town council local government chairman, Mr Innocent Godfrey Onega, says after realising a vacuum in the councillors’ duty performance, it was definitively agreed upon that the politicians are urgently equipped and empowered with leadership and management skills and knowledge necessary for their political task and comprehension of the operation of the Local Government Act.

He says the one-week training is also crucial in enabling the councillors to assist in efficient monitoring and supervision of government programmes and projects; implementing the eyes on and hands off strategy.

“Even in the Bible it is stated that King Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge. We need to change the mindset of our people that a good leader is someone who is completely rich in knowledge so as to help in execution of duties,” Mr Onega says.

The Paidha town council deputy speaker, Mr Joyce Kayeny Ozelle, says prior to the training, her office went through numerous challenges due to scanty knowledge about local government operations.

She says with the orientation, she will perform her roles and responsibilities effectually.

Mr Pascal Komakech, the Finance, Planning and Administration Chairman Paidha town council, says the knowledge acquired in communication skills will enable him handle people more subtly.

“The communication skills acquired will help me in duty execution because my office handles different categories of people. The skills I have acquired will assist me to better understand people at different levels,” he says.

The Zombo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Grace Atim, says many people fail to do their work because of lack of knowledge. “You know, knowledge is power. If you are not knowledgeable, someone can easily take advantage of your point of weakness. So, by undergoing through the training, the councillors are armed how to handle situations when they come.” Ms Atim said.

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