Uganda: Job Seekers Accuse District Officials of Soliciting Bribes

Aggrieved job seekers in Kyotera District have petitioned the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to rein in the District Service Commission (DSC) officials, who they accuse of soliciting bribes in exchange of jobs that never came.

They say money was extorted from them before sitting the interviews.

The applicants claim that after presenting their academic papers and sitting interviews, they were surprised to find their names missing on the shortlist.

In April, a total of 86 vacant positions were announced.

Positions

The positions included education assistants, theatre assistants, dispenser, medical officer, public health nurse, porters, accountant assistant, procurement officer, assistant inventory officer, records officer, parish chiefs, environment officer, agriculture officer, animal husbandry officer and a driver.

More than 100 people, who expressed interest, are now crying foul after missing out on the jobs.

"We are inviting the IGG to investigate some members of DSC who are doing a disservice to the district," a female applicant, who preferred anonymity, said during an interview at the weekend.

Victims

Another job applicant accused some members of district service commission of taking a Shs2.5m bribe after promising him a job.

"After looking at the final list of successful candidates pinned on the notice board and found my name missing, I tried to follow up with those people to recover my money but their offices have been closed for two weeks and their known telephone numbers are switched off," he said.

Another victim who only identified himself as Ronald, told Daily Monitor that the district advertised 20 slots for parish chiefs but they were shocked to see a final short list having only 10 candidates.

"They [district officials] announced 20 posts, yet only 10 were available, this makes one believe that this was intended to dupe unsuspecting applicants and get money from them," he said.

This scandal came to light on July 8 when disgruntled applicants stormed the DSC offices at Kasaali Hill demanding refund of their money. However, DSC closed their offices and left them in the compound. The DSC offices have since remained closed.

Ms Rosemary Nalubowa, the chairperson of DSC, dismissed the allegations describing them as baseless and malicious. She said some applicants were left out after failing interviews while others lacked the required academic qualifications.

"Those are disgruntled applicants who failed interviews. It is general knowledge that all applicants can't be recruited," she said.

On those who were duped, Ms Nalubowa said the commission disseminated leaflets in all sub- counties around the district cautioning the public against giving money to anyone to get a job, but people did not take heed.

Ms Nalubowa said after completing the recruitment exercise, they did not have much work to do that is why their offices were closed.

However, Mr Fred Kalyesubula, the Kyotera District chief administrative officer, said DSC offices are supposed to be open throughout the week.

Background

There have been similar allegations of District Service Commission officials from various districts across the country allegedly soliciting bribes from job seekers.

Last week, Namisindwa District Service Commission in the Eastern part of the country, was under spotlight after its officials were accused of soliciting bribes from job applicants in the recently concluded job interviews that saw a parent of one of the unsuccessful parents who had allegedly paid Shs3m collapse at the district.

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