The recently announced move to reduce the number of civil servants in the country has drawn strong criticism from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Recently, political leaders of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) led by President Yoweri Museveni held a series of meetings at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi where a number of issues including the reduction were discussed.
However, addressing a press conference at the FDC offices in Najjanankumbi today, the party Deputy Secretary General Harold Kaija said the NRM has gotten its priorities upside down because the reduction will foment unemployment.
Kaija, who deliberated on a number of sticky issues, added that the NRM government is extravagant, spending huge sums on ‘useless activities’ like the Kyankwanzi retreat. Other areas of fiscal imprudence, he said, include the disbursements to State House and to the Ministry of Defence.
On top of its ‘many’ failures, the NRM government has also increased the number of districts, which Mr Kaija said, would inflate the public service wage bill.
“The newly created five districts need chairpersons, members of parliament, RDCs and other leaders who all need a salary which in turn leaves no money in the government treasury to facilitate the payment of civil servants,” he said.
Kaija also noted that civil servants such as police, teachers and doctors greatly contribute to the development but hastened to add that in Uganda they are the worst paid and have lived under poor conditions over the last 30 years.
Linking the retrenchment to the currently trending topic of the Shs 1.3 trillion ‘bailout’ to individuals and companies that are allegedly distressed, Mr Kaija said the money should instead channel it to increasing the civil servants salaries.
“The government should look at increasing civil servants’ pay than bailing out these tycoons that are already rich,” he said adding in its 30 year rule the NRM government has not built a single hospital.
“The hospitals around were constructed by former presidents like Obote and Amin; health centres are the only ones that have been put up by Museveni’s government but they lack manpower and equipment with no drugs,” Mr Kaija said, adding: “The president and his close relatives and officials get treatment from abroad so care less about the public welfare.”
He also spoke against land-grabbing, citing the recently-resurfaced case of the UBC land that had been controversially acquired by Burahya MP Margaret Muhanga.
“The earlier we see this government off the better for the people of Uganda” Kaija said, adding that the government is full of ‘hungry hyenas and vampires’ that do not care about the well being of the citizens.