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By Mulengera Reporters

Last Friday, President Museveni met key government leaders at State House and during this meeting, a number of service delivery-related matters were discussed. KCCA, majority of whose top bosses’ contracts are expiring in just weeks, was among the key topics Gen Museveni discussed with his guests. It was a meeting of very few people to which only PPS Kenneth Omona was the only non-delegation member that was allowed.

The meeting discussed a document a joint taskforce, comprising of leaders of recruitment Commissions, had prepared for the consumption of Gen Museveni more than one year ago. The document focussed on salaries of all government employees designated as public service officers. The document had many good recommendations on how to harmonize salaries and because it’s contents displeased many powerful civil servants and MDA leaders, who earn alot of money in salaries, some of them had aggressively lobbied and gratified some key State House assistants to make sure the big man never gets his copy.

Copies of the report would be delivered to State House but the big man, whose sister Violet Kajubiri is a member to one of the recruitment Commissions, would curiously lose his copy because exhaustively studying the same. Gen Museveni indeed apologized to the key government officials he met on Friday explaining that his delayed action regarding salary harmonization was because he kept losing his copy.

The recruitment Commissions are a creature of the Constitution and they include Public Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission, Education Service Commission and Health Service Commission. These recruit all categories of civil servants for government with exception of those working for autonomous bodies like UNRA, URA, UNBS, NSSF and others which are created by separate Acts of Parliament.

So, during the Friday meeting, Gen Museveni said he is looking forward to a new order at KCCA where he anticipates a leaner payroll but of very efficient employees and managers who must this time round be recruited through a very competitive open and transparent process giving equal chance to all citizens who qualify for the respective jobs. In the past, at the inception of KCCA, Jennifer Musisi (then a blue eyed girl of Gen Museveni) single handedly made all the recruitment decisions, a thing that perpetuated cronyism at the expense of merit and talent.

But what has been intriguing Gen Museveni is the extent to which KCCA bosses’ huge salaries have been creating despondence and resentment elsewhere among public servants. He asked one of the members at the meeting to remind him how much the KCCA ED earns per month and he was told Shs48m. Museveni told the meeting it was a mistake because there is simply no justification for KCCA officials to earn so much when colleagues doing almost similar (if not even more) elsewhere in the same government are earning peanuts with better or even similar qualifications.

Saying he was only prepared to defend such salary disparities in favor of scientists, Gen Museveni wondered why a mere cleaner for KCCA sweeping the roads in the city earns over Shs1m per month when a teacher, clearly more qualified, doesn’t earn even Shs500,000. “This must stop otherwise we risk an uprising by the rest of the people in public service,” Gen Museveni was quoted to have said.

He then suggested that he wants a new salary structure for KCCA whereby a review must be urgently undertaken so that in the end the salary of the ED is diminished from the current Shs48m per month to an equivalent of what a Director earns elsewhere in public service (basically government MDAs). In the  new salary structure for government which Public Service Ministry released over the weekend, a Director in an MDA is suggested to earn Shs17.4m per month up from Shs2.3m they currently earn.

However, people at the meeting pushed Museveni to realize it would be very demoralizing for an ED who has been earning Shs48m to all of a sudden be trimmed to mere Shs17m. That’s how Shs26m was tentatively agreed upon as the proposed maximum salary for the new KCCA ED per month and Gen Museveni wants that revision of salary at KCCA to be replicated down wards so that occupants for all the other surbordinate positions must suffer severe cuts in their monthly pay to save some of the taxpayers money so that it goes towards enhancing salary for other categories of civil servants especially scientists.

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