Mzee promises millions of shillings to athletes, but keep general upkeep? Nah, not important!
“He then asked he president to stop funding wells and toilets and use the money to buy grain. (Because really, how can you use a toilet if you never eat?)” – William Kamkwamba
Well, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has started to promise things again, like he does now and then. It is a habit, he has done this for over three decades, to keep up with all his pledges. We would need a wall in a library and dozens of reports to check if he kept his promises. Many would be lacking, but that is for another day. Today, he was celebrating after returning from London and the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He has always liked to bask in glory on those occasions, because it is all talk and no need to play or pay. Now, he has returned and promised something again. Therefore, I wonder, how come the state has money to pay lavish salaries for athletes, but cannot hire needed civil servants?
Priorities, the state got none? Is that what Mr. President is saying? I understand he wants to celebrate, but has the ones in past gotten their perks? The Olympic winners of the past? Have they gotten their check and built their house, even finish building the stadiums in their names? After my calculations, there are many who is left behind. Just like so many other projects under Museveni. Because it is fun while cooking and eating. But very, very boring to clean up the mess and paying the farmer too.
First, the recent news of lack of funds:
“The Ministry of Public Service had earlier directed all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that filling of structures should be done in a phased manner subject to availability of funds. “I further emphasised in the Second Budget Call Circular (2nd BCC) dated February 15, 2018, that wage allocation for 2018/10 was only for staff in posts and no funds have been provided for recruitment,” Mr Muhakanizi states” (…) “Mr Muhakanizi’s order comes after Parliament’s Public Accounts (Local Government) Committee report on the 2015/2016 findings of the Auditor General pointed out that of the 77,713 posts that are established in the local governments, 23,093 are vacant, implying that nearly 30 per cent of the jobs are not filled” (Arinaitwe, 2018).
Second, the sudden announcement that there are funds available:
“I made a promise that whoever wins a gold medal at an international or continental competition would get a monthly salary of Shs5 million, a silver Shs3 million and Shs1 million for bronze. The five medalists today will get onto the payroll. I have also been told of some arrears to other athletes, they will be cleared. Likewise, I will build a house for Cheptegei and Chesang who won gold medals, like I have done for previous gold medalists” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.04.2018).
Maybe, I am stupid or maybe the system is foolish. Because how come there is no funds for paying the teachers, hiring principals and other needed civil servants in the government, but the Ministry of Sports and Education has capacity to dole out millions to several individuals. So the sudden victories are important, than the future generations own lessons in school. All Ugandans should get the memo. That the victories done on the Commonwealth Games are more vital to the Republic, than studying or even getting educated. If you want to secure a decent pay and salary in Uganda. You got to start running and the government will find you money.
However, if you need administrators, secretaries, teachers, principals or whatever else, there is lacking off in the districts, at schools and at hospitals. You can linger unemployed and even with the education to go into the field of expertise, the state cannot find funds for you. But if you had run on dilapidated stadiums and run around pot-holes, gotten a chance to be picked up by Uganda Athletics Federation. Than you have hope for a decent salary and a future. Unless, you get picked in NRM Primary and rig yourself into Parliament. For that matter, get a name grand enough to become a Regional District Commander (RDC), then you get a salary and also a house.
If you are just a commoner applying for job, it will not be easy, even if the government institutions hasn’t hired what they need and lack to fill the positions, because of lacking funds. Trust me, if you get into the field and get a medal. You will secure your future. That is the promise. But remember, Museveni, as always promise a lot, but don’t keep it. Just like he has done to previous winner and gold medalists.
So in reality don’t expect anything, you should be worried about those promises. When the President cannot even have the needed funds for needed civil servants within his own government. The signs of problems and lacking structure should be there. The gravitas of nonsense should strike you. But someone will buy into the soft-words, but others will be. I have a way out, but that is not certain.
Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Uganda: Govt Stops Public Service Recruitment’ (19.04.2018) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201804190159.html