December, 6, 2023. Anti-Corruption Stakeholders including The State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), Inspectorate of Government, Office of the Auditor General, Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets among others have convened the Anti-Corruption Stakeholders Conference for District and City Service Commissions at Hotel Africana to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day 2023, with the theme “Strengthening Partnership in the War Against Corruption”.

Representatives from District and City Service Commission and Antigraft bodies at Hotel Africana.

The conference aimed to foster collaboration between these Anti-corruption Agencies and Service Commission. The Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Ms. Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye, delivered a powerful message to Service Commission Chairpersons. She highlighted the numerous complaints against the commissions and the detrimental impact of hiring individuals with false qualifications on service quality.

The Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet, Ms. Lucy Nakyobe address the conference.

“We expect integrity from service commissioners,” Nakyobe emphasized. “You advise the President on recruitment, a responsibility undermined by compromised honesty. The public service once stood for excellence, and we must reclaim that. Otherwise, unqualified individuals will infiltrate the system, hindering service delivery. We need unwavering efficiency in public service.”

Deputy IGG, Mrs. Anne Twinomugisha Muhairwe, echoed these concerns, citing specific examples of political interference in recruitment. “Local governments experience compromised recruitment,” she stated. “For instance, a politician appoints a campaign manager, lacking even a high school diploma, as a district political analyst. Shockingly, the service commission approves this. What kind of service can we expect from such a person? As service commissioners, you hold these positions for the public good. Don’t let politics undermine service delivery. Hire only qualified personnel to ensure exceptional service.”

Deputy IGG, Mrs Anne Twinomugisha Muhairwe addressing her concerns about the commission.

The Head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), Brig Gen Henry Isoke, commended the candid discussions on District and City Service Commission issues. He identified a key driver of corruption: officials who shirk their duties by claiming political pressure or “orders from above.”

“These excuses are mere cover-ups,” Brig Gen Isoke asserted. “Public Service Commissions have clear guidelines and terms of reference. These should be your compass.”

Brig Gen Henry Isoke addressing the conference.

He highlighted SHACU’s success, working alongside other anti-corruption agencies, in bringing 521 individuals before the courts. Of these, 282 were civil servants, with 87 convictions secured. Brig Gen Isoke concluded by pledging SHACU’s unwavering support for those dedicated to fighting corruption with unwavering commitment.