The halted recruitment exercise for immigration staff was proceeding in a transparent manner, in accordance with government recruitment guidelines and should be allowed to go ahead, the Minister of Internal Affairs has said.
The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Hon. James Baba, said it was necessary to have the exercise proceed so as “to bring the new recruits on board.”
“The security situation demands that these people be recruited, trained and deployed as soon as possible,” he said.
“I therefore pray that the current recruitment process be allowed to continue and quickly concluded in order to address the current man power skills gaps and associated challenges.”
The Minister’s Statement followed concerns raised by Members of Parliament, who argued that the recruitment of trainee immigration officers and immigration assistants was shrouded in irregularities including discrimination against expectant women and Persons With Disabilities, bribery and applicants being forced to undertake strenuous exercises.
The positions in the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control were advertised in December 2014, followed by shortlisting, aptitude test and physical fitness exercise conducted February 4 and April 28, and June 22, 2015 respectively.
Parliament on June 25, 2015 resolved to halt the recruitment exercise that would bring in 300 new officers; and ordered that thorough investigations be conducted with regard to the concerns raised by members.
The Minister said that Uganda was relying on only 350 immigration officers to man the porous land borders and to cover all possible entries over the water.
“The need to train and recruit more staff in the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has been outstanding for long. This has affected service delivery, specifically in the areas of effective border management and control,” said Hon. Baba.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, however suggested that the Minister’s Statement and the issue of recruitment be referred to the House Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs for consideration, and report back.