Over 60,000 Gov’t Jobs Are Vacant

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. PHOTO/PPU

The most recent report from the Auditor General provides insight into the huge number of vacancies within the largest employers in the country. The report, covering the period up to June 2023, reveals that out of 133,670 approved positions across 75 government entities and 167 local governments, a substantial 60,847 positions have remained unfilled for over two years.

Auditor General John Muwanga emphasizes that this situation has had severe repercussions on service delivery, resulting in reduced efficiency, increased workload for existing staff, and obstacles in providing quality services. Ms. Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service ministry, partially attributes the issue to the government-imposed moratorium on recruiting public servants and contract staff.

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Interestingly, even entities responsible for government employee recruitment, such as the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Public Service, are facing staffing shortages. Muwanga’s audit reveals that 95 out of 340 approved positions at the Ministry and five out of 107 approved positions at the Commission remain vacant.

The report underscores the health and education sectors as the most affected by staffing shortages. In health facilities like Mulago, Butabika, Naguru, Kawempe, and Kiruddu national referral hospitals, 5,994 out of 11,901 approved positions are vacant. Additionally, 999 out of 2,036 positions in national referral hospitals are unfilled, along with 57 out of 297 positions at Naguru, 607 out of 934 positions at Kawempe, and 295 out of 831 positions at Kiruddu.

The report from the financial year ending in 2022 revealed that some of the vacancies, which numbered 537 at Kiruddu, included critical positions such as director of surgical services, 36 consultants, and 20 senior consultants. Inadequacies in human resource management were cited as contributing factors by the Auditor General in the previous report.

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