26 September 2023

UGANDA: Job-hopping officers ‘damaging service’

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The Permanent Secretary to the Ugandan Judiciary has called for immediate reforms in the country’s Public Service if delivery is not to be fatally compromised.

Speaking at the launch of his new book, Unchained: A Public Servant with a Private Sector Mindset, Pius Bigirimana urged Public Servants to be conscious of the challenges facing Uganda, saying they can only achieve this by adopting a private sector mindset that is more results-oriented.

He attributes poor service delivery in the public sector to continual job-swopping in search of promotion, where officials left areas where they were qualified to go to where they were unable to offer good service.

“Most of our problems in the Public Service are created by this ‘mandate migration’,” Mr Bigirimana (pictured) said.

“You’re leaving where you have competence to an area where you don’t have competence causing the country double jeopardy,” he said.

“Where you have left, things aren’t being done properly anymore, and where you have gone, you’re simply messing up things because you’re not competent in that field.”

Mr Bigirimana, who has worked in the Public Service for more than 30 years, said mandate migration was a major drag on the country’s growth and asked the authorities in the Public Service to deal with it decisively.

“My main argument in the book is that at the individual level, there is a lack of conceptual clarity to have a deep understanding of one’s work,” he said.

“For example, if you are a Permanent Secretary, do you know the work of the Permanent Secretary? If you are a judge, do you know that you are a judge?”

Calling for a proper induction process for all Government workers, he said there were too many people in positions they did not understand.

“That’s why I am saying induction must be done for all Public Servants so they develop a positive, adaptive and resilient hunger for excellence, personal improvement and the intentional willingness to grow and grow others,” Mr Bigirimana said.

Kampala, 29 August 2022

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