KAMPALA – When will Government departments start to support each other or work as if they serve the same populace. How can the electoral body see the value in a scientific election and fail to see the value in ¨scientific job applications¨ in the wake of COVID 19?
A few weeks ago, the Uganda Electoral Commission put out a job advert for several jobs like it often does in the run-up to the general elections whose deadline was i think 3rd July 2020. I was not keen about the particulars of the job advert until a friend of mine who is upcountry based asked me to physically deliver his application to the Electoral Commission. I was taken aback first by the fact that physical applications were mandatory but secondary that a Government Department that should know better had literally asked thousands of Ugandans from all corners of the country to risk their lives to possible COVID 19 infection to converge at their offices and physically hand over their job applications!
In doing so the Electoral Commission did not only put the lives of thousands of Job seeking Ugandans at risk but also put their own staff at risk as they interacted with the very many applicants. When are we going to start seeing Government Departments mutually reinforcing each other? efforts? Is that too much to ask of those we pay to think and implement policies and procedures that should have the best interest of the citizens at heart?
In this day and age, why would any prospective employer require applicants to physically deliver their applications! By that action alone, the Electoral Commission sabotaged efforts by at least 2 other government departments (NEMA and Ministry of Health). Think of all ongoing efforts to protect the environment! Yet all printed applications will have to be disposed off after the process one way or the other.
When I attempted to personally deliver my friend? application, I found the premises so crowded that, apart from the fact that I could not spare the 4 hours it took my messenger to finally deliver the application, I felt it was inhuman to make job seekers go through all that avoidable hassle. What happened to online applications? Did I hear the Government was coming up with an online job application platform sometime last year? Where did all that end? Those are the kinds of projects that should be prioritised over and above constituencies!
Granted the Electoral Commission had endeavoured to put in place a flow chart to manage the evidently high volume of applicants while trying but failing dismally to maintain social distancing. But was all this necessary? Already the electoral body is handling a high volume of visitors in respect of the forthcoming election and to that you add an avoidable burden of thousands of applicants! If this was still ¨Kisanja hakuna mikyezo¨ someone should have paid for this level of carelessness. Just imagine if any of the applicants had COVID 19 or if any staff at the electoral body had it and it got passed on to the thousands of applicants from across the country!
Fellow Citizens, i think we need to blacklist all organizations (Government or otherwise) that still insist on physical job applications. Apart from the risks involved in travelling, printing that spoils our environment, some desperate job seekers have to borrow transport money to be able to hand in their applications yet with the current level of unemployment the chances of one being successful may be less than 1% for any given job? When you consider the additional risk with travel now posed by COVID 19 you begin to wonder whether these organisations are really acting in public interest.