The New Times (Kigali)

23 March 2010

Rwanda: Gov't to Reinstate Sacked Workers

Kigali — The Public Service Commission (PSC) has recommended that 38 former district employees be re-instated because they were fired maliciously, The Newtimes has learnt.

A team, set up to investigate claims that the evaluation exercise was flawed, found many anomalies.

It was composed of officials from ministries of Local Government and Public Service and Labour.

A reliable source from the Commission told this newspaper that the grades of female employees' were doctored downwards after they allegedly turned down sexual advances by their bosses.

"This issue of sexual harassment was cited in the districts of Nyanza, Huye and Rubavu," the source, who requested not to be named, said.

It added that when the Public Service Commission heard the sexual harassment story, it was shocked because "leaders are expected to be honest, straightforward and credible."

Initially, 90 employees had petitioned the PSC protesting that their dismissals were "engineered by their enemies".

They demanded an independent investigation to be carried out and those found to be behind the unorthodox sackings to be punished.

The Commission visited sixteen districts and the City of Kigali.

According to the Commission, investigations conducted revealed that in Rwamagana, Huye and Kigali, altering employees' grades featured prominently.

In some districts, employees awarded themselves marks and their leaders endorsed them without cross-checking whether the marks reflected their performance.

In Rubavu district alone, of the 22 employees who petitioned the PSC, 12 were found to have been sacked unfairly.

According to the source, some employees in districts had scored the required 70% pass mark but they were altered.

The New Times reported last week that an employee was victimized because he had not attended a function where a government official was being hosted by the district.

Local Government Minister, James Musoni, said recently that leaders who used evaluation exercise to maliciously victimize government employees would be punished

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