More than 500 million shillings meant for staff recruitment in
Serere and Ngora districts has been returned to the treasury.
Both districts advertised for various jobs at the beginning of the year, but
interviews were halted after the President announced a lockdown following the
outbreak of COVID-19.
Out of 14 positions advertised in Ngora district, only critical
cadres like heads of department and medical workers were interviewed.
Ben Eumu, the Ngora District LCV Chairperson, says that positions
like Education Assistants that attracted more applicants were left out in the
interview program since the majority of candidates were from outside the
He explains that the decision to postpone interviews for some positions was
done to avoid costs of litigation in case some of the applicants go to court
after failing to turn up for interviews.
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In Serere, the district failed to shortlist any candidates for the positions
advertised. Gabriel Otiira, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer says
they advertised for medical workers to fill positions in Kagwara and Aarapoo
Health Center IIs, now being upgraded to health centre IIIs but couldn’t
Otiira revealed that besides COVID-19 lockdown that affected recruitment
activities, the term of office for the District Service Commissioners expired.
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At Kagwara Health Centre II, one of the health facilities which were supposed
to benefit from the recruitment has only two staff attending to more than 50
patients. The situation forced Village Health Team members to step in to help
manage the overwhelming number of patients at the facility.
Stella Imeet, a resident of Akwangalet Village found at the maternity unit says
she spent three days without receiving treatment at the facility since the only
staff was attending to emergencies in other units. She appeals to the district
to help recruit more staff to rescue the appalling situation.
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According to the Auditor-General Report of December 2019, the issue of low
absorption of funds across government agencies is a recurring problem. In his
report, John Muwanga noted that out of 2.31 trillion shillings availed for
implementation of 43 Government Projects across the country, only 1.58 trillion
shillings was spent.
He attributes low absorption of funds to delays in approving work plans, long
procurement processes, delays in the signing of contracts and slow execution of
works among others.