Service refers to the act of providing people's needs by a concerned authority. This may be done either by an individual or an organization.

Authority in this case refers to the power given to the particular individual or organization in an effort to provide for the community needs. In short, authority is the power one has because of the official position he or she is holding in the society.



Authority is an important entity in the day today running of the society. Without it, it may be very difficult to provide the community its needs. This means that for a community to achieve the desired needs or goals, authority should be in place.

It is against such a background that authority becomes a necessity in the society as explained below.

1.         Decision making in society is a vital role of authority. This is because not all members of a given community can participate in designing policies governing themselves. Representatives are therefore necessary in doing this.

2.         Authority helps in creating links between the people and the law. For example the judiciary interprets the law to the common man. This helps in governing the relationship among members of the society.

3.         Authority helps in promoting peace and harmony in the community. This is particularly true where the authority punishes lawbreakers.

4.         Authority helps in effective planning in allocating the scarce resources. Where there may be crisis, authority may give special attention aimed at solving such a crisis.

5.         Authority promotes discipline among members in the society. This is because of the fear of being punished by the concerned authority.

6.         Authority protects and guides against violation of human rights. In such cases the power invested in one individual is used to bring on board the offender and punish them accordingly.

7.         Through authority, members of the society are guided towards achieving their desired goals. In other words authority directs the members towards a positive path in their business undertaking.

8.         Authority creates unity and the spirit of togetherness in the society. This is because the members have one common figure to whom they are all accountable. This in the end creates a sense of belonging and identity hence binding them together.

9.         Authority also promotes respect among members of the society in their interpersonal relationships. This is especially true if the authority is able to bring all members together as one.

10. Authority helps in protecting the less fortunate in the community such as the poor, disabled, widows, women and others. The authority in this case would take an affirmative action in uplifting the status of such people.

11. Authority helps in building and developing the spiritual life of members in the community. Religious leaders in this case are in the fore front of enriching people's spiritual belief.

12. Authority promotes easy running of the society. In such a situation, the members do follow a particular channel or way of life agreed upon by their representatives.



Because of the nature of our society where people have different goals and visions in life and at different levels, there is also need for various forms of authority to deal with such situations. These are as summarized below.

1.   Authority is of divine nature if it has a spiritual power that is beyond man's understanding. In other words, divine authority is supreme to all authorities and is not questionable by any individual. Among others, authorities from God, diviners and the spirits are the examples of divine authority.

2.   Authority is government if it has a commonly known ruling body running the affairs of the society. Government authority can be divided into three organs with:

     The Executive branch composing of the President and the cabinet. This is responsible for administering the policies on which the community's affairs are run. The different ministries carry out their activities where the police, the prison and the army tall.

     The Legislature or the parliament consisting of people's representatives from different constituencies. This branch of government is responsible for debating bills (written proposals for a new law) and passing the laws to govern the country.

        The Judiciary branch being responsible for interpreting the country's laws to the general public and passing judgment on the lawbreakers.

3.   Authority is hereditary if it is acquired or passed from parents to their children. This may follow the death of the parents and it is acquired in accordance to the wills of the, deceased parents. A son would acquire this authority in paternal societies and daughters are entitled to this authority in maternal societies.

4.   Authority is symbolic if it is derived from respecting particular objects representing some powers. Such objects are known to be sacred or holy and simply call for people's respect. The Bible, the Quran, the constitution, the court of Arms and others are some of the examples of symbolic authority.

5.   Authority is personal if an individual having distinct knowledge and skills in a given sphere of life possesses it. Authors (writers), rainmakers, fortunetellers, divine healers, herbalists and others are the examples of people having personal authority.

6.   Authority is parental if parents possess it over their children in their upbringing. Parental authority can be sub divided into two with;

        Paternal authority where the family leadership rests entirely on the father and it is the father providing all the family needs.

        Maternal authority where it is the mother heading the household.


Specific individuals to who people must have given the authority effects the provision of community needs in modern times. Basing on this background, it is very important to understand how leadership is obtained nowadays.

Ways of Acquiring Leadership (Authority) Today

As already noted above, there are various ways through which people become leaders today. Among others the following should be taken into consideration.

1.   In some societies, leadership is still acquired through right of birth. This is the case in a royal family where kingship is acquired from the father. Among others, Buganda and Bunyoro kingdoms still recognize this aspect in their political organizations.

2.   Some people become leaders through elections. In this case, the general population is the one to determine who should become their leader. This is done through casting votes in a democratic institution.

3.   In other instance, people become leaders through promotion. Such individuals are always rewarded in the form of promotion due to their hard work. They are given such official positions with the hope that they would even do more than they could have done.

4.   Leadership is also acquired simply by virtue of age. In such cases the old people are given authority because of their long experiences in life. It is believed that they would use such experiences in guiding, protecting and serving the general population.

5.   Leadership is acquired through appointment. This is done by someone who has already been given the mandate to choose an individual in for a position or a job. In Uganda, the President has a right to appoint Ministers, Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and many others.

6.   Some people acquire leadership through their economic and social status. In this case, the rich, highly disciplined and well-behaved individuals are looked upon as pace setters and living examples among the general population. The masses therefore rally behind them because of holding such a status.

7.   People today become leaders through divine calling or ordination. This is the case with religious leaders such as Bishops, priests, pastors, sisters and others. These people are believed to have received their positions from God.      

8.   Leadership is also acquired through inheritance. This is true in family administration where sons or daughters are given the headship from their parents. The parents in this case would have either grown too old or died.

9.   Some individuals are using corruption and bribery to become leaders. This is common with public officers. Such individuals may either use public facilities to set up their own firms or give some gifts to the appointing officers to secure a leadership position.

10. Other individuals are using academic qualifications to become leaders. Such individuals are regarded "fit" to hold the official positions because of the knowledge they have acquired. For example being a Head teacher, an accountant and a lawyer requires an educational qualification.

11. Some individuals have become leaders through possessing charisma. Such people are able to influence others because of the special qualities and abilities they have. Among others musicians, herbalists, rain makers, fortunetellers, boxers are living examples of charismatic leaders.

12. In other cases, individuals have become leaders by being the heroes. Such individuals become leaders after having done something great for the benefit of all members of the community. In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni Kaguta became a president for the first time after his liberation wars (1980-1986) where he fought the government of Dr. Apollo Milton Obote for the alleged rigging of the 1980 election.

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A complete talking Book for Uganda certificate of Education