EDRINE BENESA: The Teso Leaders’ Workshop and why every RDC was destined to succeed under Babalanda, Kakande

By Edrine Benesa

This week, yet again, the Office of the President organised a leaders retreat for Resident District/City Commissioners(RDCs/ RCCs and their Deputies and Regional and District Internal Security Officers(RISOs and DISOs) purposely to re-energise and re-sharpen their capacity in executing their respective mandates.

This was just another of the many interventions that the Milly Babalanda and Hajji Yunusu Kakande-led office has implemented to enhance the capacity of the RDC body in representing the President in their different areas of deployment.

Beginning with the grand weeklong retreat that saw all the officials camp at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi in July 2022, successive retreats have been organised for the different regions to tackle the unique circumstances in each.

As we concluded an action-packed another of such engagements at Wash and Wills Hotel in Mbaale City on Wednesday, the 29th, I was made to reminisce when the backlash was just too intense from naysayers who loudly sounded pessimistic about the capacity of the just appointed Envoys of the President to live up to the task ahead of them.

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Without hiding my guilt, I can still say, with my head lowered, that I also favoured some doubt about whether I would manage the responsibility that seemed mountainous at the time. But now, I can see why I shouldn’t have feared the type of leadership and mentorship the appointing Authority had already prepared for us in the form of the Minister and Secretary, Hajji Kakande.

We have, from time to time, been retooled with useful resources for supervision, obligation, and pacification of our areas of jurisdiction. With a force of predominantly fresh, youthful appointments, one can not fail to understand the source of despair exhibited then and the hostilities that accompanied it.

What we all, apart from President Museveni and a few people who had closely worked with the minister, was that the group had been placed in the hands of a leader whose sweetest hobby was mentoring.

From Babalanda’s time at the Office of the NRM National Chairman, she was able to establish herself as the chief gardener who manned a leadership nursery bed with her seeds sprouting across the country. That’s why, when her cabinet appointment came in June 2021, not many were surprised.

The one thing I have learned about President Museveni over the years is that he is gifted with a sharp eye for excellence.

With the RDCs in charge of security in their districts and the Intelligence Arm-ISO supervised by the able Minister, it is not surprising that the county has witnessed relative peace from border to border despite earlier threats of insecurity during the machete attacks in Greater Masaka.

The Minister’s loyal lieutenants have also managed to subjugate the once-upon-a-time vice of land grabbing and evictions where RDCs were variously implicated. With clear guidelines and instructions passed out to the RDC offices across the country, the new trend can not be difficult to elaborate.

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A few challenges withstanding, therefore, it would be self-defeating for anyone to fail to recognise the salient role of the office in making the complex role of the RDC office seem so easy and doable.

The writer is the Deputy RCC for Soroti East Division in Soroti City

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