The Speaker, Anita Among has directed the State Minister for Public Service, Hon. Mary Mugasa present a report to Parliament on the fate of former staff of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Among’s directive during the plenary sitting of Tuesday, 14 March 2023, was occasioned by concerns from Members of Parliament on the harsh conditions that former staff of the two entities are facing.
Legislators said that staff were neither retired as required by the law nor transferred to other agencies as earlier advised by Parliament.
“I need a report tomorrow on the actions you are taking; those are your staff, they are not staff of any ministry. Where have you placed them and what are you currently doing?” Among asked.
Dokolo District Woman Representative, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal said a former staff of the Science and Innovation Ministry died due to depression.
Busiro County East MP, Hon. Medard Ssegona indicted the Minister for Public Service for handling the closure process haphazardly and unlawfully.
He argued that whereas it is the public service ministry’s mandate to shift staff of the closed entities to other existing ones, the burden was left to staff.
“To my understanding the staff do not belong to any specific ministry, they are under Public Service. You have public servants under a ministry, you close the ministry and throw staff on the streets, how did we reach here?” Ssegona said.
The Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka said that agencies that were created by law remain legally existent until Parliament decides otherwise. “The expectation is that the ministry under which the agency falls must provide budgets for it and must continue with existence until such time Parliament pronounces itself,” Kiryowa Kiwanuka said.
Minister Mugasa said that, “for employees of the former Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology, it is still work in progress; the minister is working together with the technical team to have clear structure’.
The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Technology was moved from being an independent entity and placed under State House in 2021.
REA was transferred to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as a department in 2021.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.