President Museveni is pushing for the downsizing of departments and agencies in his government arguing that they perform the same responsibilities.
“What if the non-commercial portions of the State employees were consolidated down-sized rationalised and all of them better paid? Would it not be fairer and more efficient?” Museveni told finance minister Matia Kasaija in a letter date July 17.
Museveni also asked why the policy role should be separated from regulation role for non-commercial bureaucratic portions of the government.
“I want efficiency with no further delays,” he added.
He gave ministry of finance and other relevant ministries like Public Service up to December 20 to propose a plan on how to tackle the matter.
Currently, the country has over 20 authorities and departments established by Acts of Parliament, employing highly paid technocrats.
These include Civil Aviation Authority, Uganda National Roads Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Forestry Authority, among others.
Top managers running these agencies and authorities are paid over Shs 30 million per month and they are entitled to allowances, first class air tickets, free medical care and their families.
In his letter, Museveni argues that he only agreed with the formation of URA many years ago to fight corruption in the customs department of ministry of finance.
“Secondly, since we could not yet raise the salaries of the whole public service, we needed to increase tax collection for the government,” he explained.
Henry Mukiibi, a public administration scholar, has backed the President, arguing that his views on the matter should be implemented soon.
“It is long overdue. Government is duplicating responsibilities. As a country, we spend a lot of money paying these people and yet the services remain poor. I think, the money spent on the running these agencies should be allocated to districts,” Mukiibi argued
Opposition MPs, however, doubt whether Museveni will walk the talk on what he is saying.
Ibrahim Kasozi, Makindye East MP said the President endorses the establishment of the agencies and department to create jobs for his people.
“It is hard for me to believe in what Museveni is saying. Those officials, who are running these agencies, politically support him. Show me any agency being headed by his critics. Therefore, Museveni should take us seriously; we went to school and acquired some knowledge,” Kasozi said.