The reports that the Government spends more than UGX 104 billion yearly, to rent space for its offices, does not come a surprise. What is surprising is that it has taken the Government this long to come to the realization that Government has not just credibility, but stature, to have its own space.
In fact when the NRM came to power, it even sold off the Government houses that had once been used house civil servants; and opted to let them find residential accommodation for themselves. It is arguable that, in the effort to find accommodation, or build residential houses for themselves, it has made the civil servants more corrupt so as to steal the money for the purpose.
If the Government had had its own office space, over that time it has been in power, it would have probably saved up to one billion dollars, which would have been useful for any development purposes. This in itself would have had other economic multifier effects.
However, the policy of continuing to rent space from individuals was being used to feather nests of the people who are considered the regime cadres. As such there have been levels of corruption for the benefit of only those people at the expense of the rest of the population. Obviously, this has been retrogressive all round.
But as it goes ahead to establish the Bwebajja Government Offices Campus, it should be mindful on what accrues to the people in the process. It is understood that the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), funds will be used for the purpose.
As long as NSSF remains a pension scheme meant to benefit the retiring workers, then the Bwebajja project would have a double benefit for Uganda: get the office space, while enhancing the function of the Fund for both the people and Government.