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Kajura hailed as he bows out of public service

By Moses Walubiri

Added 28th June 2016 08:56 AM

Kajura gave his successor a quick tutorial on the ongoing reform programs in the ministry

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Kajura gave his successor a quick tutorial on the ongoing reform programs in the ministry

For thirty minutes, outgoing first deputy prime minister and minister of public service, Henry Kajura patiently waited in the ministry boardroom for his successor, Muruli Mukasa for the official handover ceremony to get underway.

Tongue-in-cheek, he requested the ministry technocrats present, to introduce themselves and help themselves to the refreshments as they waited for Muruli Mukasa and the public service state minister, David Karubanga.

And when the handover ceremony kicked off after Mukasa and Rubanga had sauntered in, permanent secretary ministry of public service, Catherine Bitarakwate took a quick stock of Kajura's ten years at the ministry, thanking him for presiding over remarkable headway.

"During your tenure, we have been able to build the National Records Archives Center and Civil Service College. We thank you," Bitarakwate said as she kick started the brief ceremony.

However, Bitarakwate conceded that the ministry has not emerged out of the pension scam smelling roses.

The modern national archives center in Kampala keeps all records with historical, administrative, legal, fiscal, research, informational and educational value.

Previously located in Entebbe,  government deemed  it prudent to relocate the archives center which keeps records dating as far back as 1890  to a new modern 'home' in Kampala.

Created to provide special training to public officers, the civil service college was set up in 2010 under the World Bank Public Service Performance Enhancement Project with a loan of $23 million (about 81b).

It is part of the government's phased plan to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public service.

In his parting shot, Kajura made a case for civil servants, including those in the top echelon, to discard the haughtiness that is the hallmark of some individuals in the civil service.

"We are not masters but servants of the people of Uganda. Be courteous, it costs nothing," Kajura, speaking softly, almost in a whisper, said.

Kajura also gave his successor a quick tutorial on the ongoing reform programs in the ministry, especially decentralization of the pension system, urging him to oversee their completion.

"We are also working with the ministry of finance to make sure that civil servants are paid their salaries in time. They don't earn much," Kajura noted.

Outgoing state minister for public service, Sezi Mbaguta, who too has held the docket for a decade rooted for strict appraisal and monitoring attendance of staff to weed out laxity.

"Those who fail to meet the required standards should be quickly sanctioned and," Mbaguta said, revealing that "resistance to reform, corruption and patronage" have proved a challenge over the years.

For sixteen years until her appointment to cabinet in June 2006, Mbaguta was one of the top technocrats at ministry of public service – at one time serving as Commissioner of Personnel Management.

In his maiden speech, Muruli Mukasa admitted that he has never worked at the ministry in any capacity and that he is willing to learn the ropes.

"I come to this ministry with an open mind. I am your student, here to learn and I am a fast learner," Muruli said. Muruli is the outgoing minister of gender.

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