This research interrogates the relationship between citizen competence and local governance in Uganda. It focuses on citizens' political knowledge, civic responsibility, civic skills and how these core elements of citizen competence influence local governance processes. The spotlight on these dynamics is intended to facilitate the analysis of a range of state initiatives since Uganda's independence in 1962, and how these strategies have influenced civic competence at the grassroots. Essentially examining state-led political reforms, the research investigates why despite such seemingly efficacious reforms; civic competence appears to remain weak. With Mbarara district as the case study, the proposed research uses an instrumental case study design that employs both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis which will also provide the means to measure the validity of the study results. This study is expected to provide a basis for identifying relevant strategies for strengthening local level governance mechanisms in Uganda.