Ugandans are disappointed with the pace at which services are delivered by public servants and are demanding efficient and improved service delivery, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service, Henry Kajura has said.
He said the people expect to be attended to quickly and with courtesy, but the reports he has received indicate that this is not happening.
He said this at the commemoration of the Africa Public Service Day at Hotel Africana on Monday.
He particularly singled out female public servants as being very rude to people. "Some ladies are rude to clients when serving them yet they are supposed to be kind. I would like to get a better report about female public servants next time" said Kajura.
He urged them to speedily attend to especially pensioners saying they have a right to receive their benefits, and people from upcountry so that they are able to go back to their homes quickly.
The day is commemorated every year on June 23 to reflect on the function of the public service, its mission and objectives, successes and challenges, motivate and encourage public servants who do good work. It is also meant for preparing public service and administration for a better future by proposing change for the social and economic well being of communities.
This year's theme was "Capacity development for implementation of the African Charter on values and principles of public service and administration towards capable developmental states."
Kajura noted that because they are operating in an environment that is diverse, fast paced and ever changing, their efforts should be geared towards nurturing an innovative public service to address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
A consultant working with UNDP in Gambia, Edward Mutabazi proposed mandatory public service pre-entry examinations as part of quality assurance, promotion of equity as well as economising costs associated with recruitment exercises.
He lauded Uganda for making "serious strides" through public service and other governance reform programmes. He said Uganda's public service is one of the most professionally stable in Africa and attributed this to a number of laws that have been enacted, establishment of the civil service college and public service code of conduct, among others.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Jimmy Lwamafa revealed that there is a category of public officers who join public service with short term intentions and use the public service as a launching pad for greener pastures. "Once they have successfully identified a suitable opportunity, they are off to the next destination," he said.
Makerere University lecturer, Prof. Yasin Olum urged the government to establish a national salary and review commission to review all wages and salaries in public service taking into consideration the level of productivity and inflation in the economy, qualifications, competences and experiences of staff.
"How can you pay a lecturer 400.000 shs only? If you want public servants to deliver quality services, motivate them. The minimum salary for a teacher should be Sh1m a month." said Olum.