By Insight Post Uganda
Mukono district has been grappling with a significant financial crisis and service disruption for the past three years due to the absence of a District Service Commission (DSC).
A DSC is a crucial government agency or body that is responsible for appointing and promoting civil servants, and its absence has had far-reaching consequences for the district.
Its pivotal roles include government administration at the district level, serving as key agencies responsible for recruitment, placement, transfers, promotions, and disciplinary matters for civil servants within their respective districts.
Also, these commissions are vital in maintaining a well-functioning civil service by conducting rigorous selection processes, ensuring suitable job placements, addressing employee transfers and promotions, and managing disciplinary issues.
Additionally, they offer advisory support to district governments and local authorities, contributing to effective human resource management, staffing policies, and the overall efficiency of public services at the local level.
The absence of the DSC has led to a significant financial crunch in Mukono. The district has become accustomed to returning money allocated for staff recruitment and wages to the consolidated funds.
In the previous financial year of 2022/2023, Mukono submitted a budget of UGX77.9 billion shillings but received only UGX69 billion.
According to Chief Finance Officer Robinah Nabwire, the district could only absorb UGX67 billion, and the remaining UGX2.3 billion was returned to the Ministry of Finance.
This situation has become a recurring issue, with UGX1.2 billion being returned in the previous financial year.
Part of the returned amount, approximately UGX1.6 billion shillings, was specifically allocated for wages and recruitment, with the rest earmarked for pensioners and gratuity.
What’s alarming is that the current trend is replacement-based, meaning that when a civil servant retires, their salary continues until July of the following year. The money for that position is diverted to other districts in need.
The absence of the DSC has not only caused financial problems but has also severely impacted various departments within the district, especially in health and education, which are struggling with inadequate staffing.
This has created a ripple effect, inconveniencing various development projects for Mukono Municipality’s local government unit.
“We are most likely to miss out on World Bank money intended for development due to the absence of DSC. We lack certified engineers and planners vital for our targeted projects,” says Majerani Luboyera, the Deputy town clerk.
The financial losses and the absence of the DSC have left many residents concerned about the future of the district, with thousands of positions remaining vacant. The absence of leadership to address this issue has led to frustration among the local population.
Efforts to Address the Issue
Efforts have been made to address this pressing issue. On January 19, 2023, Winnie Agnes Kabogoza Musoke, the Public Service Commission Chairperson, instructed Mukono District LC5 Chairperson, Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, to adhere to the procedure of constituting the DSC to avoid costly court cases for the government.
However, Rev. Bakaluba has been reluctant, citing the need for further scrutiny of the process. The matter is also before the Mukono High Court for a proper decision and guidance.
Nonetheless, the Resident District Commissioner, Fatumah Ndisaba Nabitaka, believes that the egos and selfish interests of leaders are costing innocent people within the district and calls for the government’s full intervention.
Looking to the Future
Unless the government takes a bold stand over the matter, recruitment, promotions, and improved service delivery within Mukono will remain uncertain.
The absence of the DSC not only hampers the district’s ability to function effectively but also impacts the lives of its residents and the progress of development projects in the region.
The situation calls for urgent attention and resolution to restore stability and prosperity to Mukono.