SO THIS COMES AS A SURPRISE TO WHO EXACTLY?
Kampala- A leaked report of the House Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) analysed staff lists submitted by 37 government entities and found regional imbalance in recruitment of staff, especially the heads of parastatals. The report exposes regional disparities in the sharing of public service jobs.
However, government has rebuked the report and accused legislators of using a committee of Parliament to legitimise “personal sentiments that are not only wrong but very retrogressive”.
For instance, out of 37 chief executive officers (CEOs), 22 are from western Uganda, representing 59 per cent. The Central and Eastern regions each have seven CEOs, representing 18 per cent tie in second position. Northern region comes last with one CEO, representing two (2) per cent
On other staff, the report reads: “Of the total 11,303 members of staff in these 37 entities, 3,930 are from West, representing 34.7 per cent. The Central region is in second position with 3,028 members of staff, representing 26.70 per cent.
Eastern region is third with 2,701 (23.80 per cent) and again North comes last with 1,644, which is 14.5 per cent.”
Reacting to the findings ahead of the debate in Parliament, the minister for Presidency, Mr Frank Tumwebazem criticised the COSASE report as a handiwork of “Opposition” targeting the President for political reasons.
“Are all jobs given by the president?” Mr Tumwebaze asked.
“Far from the truth, about 90 per cent of public jobs are given by the constitutional commissions... So, by looking at the composition of these commissions, are westerners the majority so as to suspect that they favour candidates from the west? Certainly not,” the Presidency minister charged.
According to provisional results of the last census, Uganda’s population distribution is as follows: the central region has 9.6m people (27.4 per cent), followed by eastern with 9.1m people (26 per cent), western 8.9m people (25.4 per cent) and northern 7.2m people (20.5 per cent).
Mr Ssemuju yesterday confirmed the committee report and denied the accusations of “sectarianism”. The Kyadondo East MP, however, declined to discuss the findings before the report is tabled in Parliament. House rules do not allow members to discuss committee reports in the press before they are tabled.
Mr Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi, director programmes at Uganda Debt Network, a development organisation said: “Like we implemented affirmative action for girls in tertiary institutions, we need to do the same in public sector jobs and also promote equitable regional financing for programmes that deal with structural inequality issues. If we keep the status-quo, we shall continue to irrigate regional inequality, which is not sustainable for Uganda’s peace and accountable development.”
MPs from north and eastern Uganda, who talked to Daily Monitor yesterday, described regional imbalances in the recruitment as the cause of underdevelopment of these regions.
They blamed unemployment and poor service delivery in the sectors of health, roads, education to what Acholi Parliamentary Group Chairperson Reagan Okumu and the former COSASE boss called “imbalanced development” in the country.
However, Mr Benjamin Cadet (Bunyaruguru), one of the MPs from Western Uganda, said: “The truth is that the jobs in public service are evenly distributed.
The imbalance is only visible at top level. This is because, at top level, these are appointed by the President and he has special considerations, which I cannot speculate.”
The May 2015 report on the audited accounts for 2011-2013 and signed by at least half of the committee membership also highlights gender imbalances in most of the government parastatals.
The committee reviewed staff lists from 40 agencies and found that of the 12,116 members of staff in these organisations, only 3,748 are females, representing 30.09 per cent. The rest ─8,368 which is 68 per cent, are men.
It’s only in Bank of Uganda, the report says, where females are more than males. The Central bank has 254 females and 205 males.
However, the committee noted that there are Boards of directors such as that of Uganda Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) with zero female representation while Boards of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC) and Uganda Export Promotions Board have one female member.