Poor pay blamed for rampant corruption at district services commissions

Kabogoza-Musoke also called on the legislators to support the request of Shs2.4 billion to cater to the unfunded priorities which include monitoring visits to 145 districts and city service commissions.

The chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Agnes Kabogoza-Musoke, has told lawmakers that the poor remuneration of members of district service commissions (DSCs) is to blame for the corruption.

She was appearing before the Committee on Public Service and Local Government on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.

Kabogoza-Musoke said that each member of the DSC is paid a retainer of Shs200, 000 and yet this amount also delays to be remitted.

The power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the service of a district or urban council, including the power to confirm appointments, exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to remove those persons from office is vested in the district service commissions.

“We are still trying to fight the vice. We believe that if DSCs are better paid, it could reduce the corruption tendencies. Some years ago, government had approved payment of Shs400, 000 as retainer for DSC members, but it has not materialised,” said Kabogoza-Musoke.

This prompted the Committee Vice Chairperson, Christine Apolot, to ask if regionalising service commissions could solve the recurring corruption at district level. Kabogoza-Musoke said the idea has been discussed but there was an uproar from district chairpersons.

“We are still lobbying to see if it can work. Regionalisation could reduce corruption; they would be better paid and we can attract people to serve,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ntungamo District Woman Member of Parliament, Joselyn Kameteneti, raised a concern over alleged ghost health centre IV’s in her district with ghost employees receiving salaries.

She said that the district has no district health officer and inspector.

“How can this happen? 20 ghost health centres with employees paid. Who can do this? We are losing billions. Please interest yourself in this district and advise the President accordingly. The First lady is the National Resistance Movement Chairperson and the President also comes there,” said Kamateneti.

Kabogoza-Musoke said that, ‘Ntungamo is a big challenge to us. Internal audit and even external audit should have been able to uncover this. We need a meeting of all stakeholders on issues like this. May be it is a racket’.

She added that the Ministry of Local Government and Auditor General should find a solution to the issues in Ntugamo health centres.

Kabogoza-Musoke also called on the legislators to support the request of Shs2.4 billion to cater to the unfunded priorities which include monitoring visits to 145 districts and city service commissions.

The funds, according to Kabogoza-Musoke, will also facilitate the commissions wage bill to ensure revised human resource management structure.

“The commission has engaged Parliament and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on this issue on a number of occasions. Your support is still needed in order to succeed,” she said.

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