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Serere, Ngora Return UGX 500m to 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.
Mothers waiting for the midwife at Maternity Unit in Kagwara HC2

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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 district. 

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 recruit. 

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.