What distinguishes civil servants from other government employees is one of allegiance civil servant serve the State (the central government) not the person who appoints them. They’re answerable to the government, not a political party.
The question to be considered is whether in the discharge of their duties, RDCs conduct themselves in the manner civil servants are expected to conduct themselves. RDCs in Uganda have degenerated into party functionaries whose allegiance is not to the State but rather to the appointing authority and the party in power. That is the case for legal reform.
Either they stop being called civil servants or they are compelled to stop being partisan party functionaries. The former would require a constitutional amendment. The latter would require an interpretation by the Constitutional Court stating the limits of the RDCs powers and declaring their Dos and Donts. Some people have threatened to go to court over this matter.
As DP we’ve often insisted that Uganda is yet to see a Trans-Regime Army. The army is supposed to be above politics. They’re supposed to be non partisan. Their duty defend the constitution and to defend the territorial integrity of the country. Their allegiance is expected be to the State which endures beyond the changes in government that elections may bring.
But over the years, the successive armies have had to disband with every change in government. The police on the other hand have always been left alone by the successor governments even when they assume power marching behind blazing guns. This is because it was clear that the police were loyal to the State not to the ruling party. These days the police also seems to have degenerated into partisan functionaries.
Those who want to seek redress in the courts of law should know court is but one arena for seeking reform. Political activity is another important arena. The proposed National Dialogue is another arena which can be used for renegotiating the very concept of Uganda. The collapse of every successive Consensus we have attempted from Lancaster, to Moshi, to the 1995 Constitution makes a National Dialogue imperative.
This would give a sense of ownership of Uganda to the various communities that make the building blocks of our country. It would also give greater legitimacy to the State that inherited the authority previously exercised by the British colonial power. It would help the people to stop feeling like subjects and become citizens with rights and the power to hold the government accountable.