Kampala. President Museveni has ordered government ministries to employ only scientists as planners if the country is to quickly industrialise.
He issued the directive yesterday while opening a three-day retreat on the government annual performance for the Financial Year 2017/2018.
The retreat, centred on the theme, ‘Industrialisation for Job Creation’, was attended by ministers, district chairpersons, chief administrative officers and town clerks. It is being held at the Prime Minister’s Conference hall in Kampala.
Mr Museveni, who during his one-hour long speech focused on the need for industrialisation, said the ministries need to recruit planners who know science because the growth of the industry sector will not only depend on minerals, agricultural products and other natural resources but also on human intellect.
“We must go into products of the intellect like in Japan where there are no natural resources but they depend on human resource to produce cars and other machinery. The problem we have is people you call planners, they don’t know much about science, some are economists. How can you plan if you don’t know science?” the President said.
“Even in ministries, we need scientists. We need people who understand chemistry. You must have chemists, you must have biologists, and you must have physicists,” he added.
The President revealed that he recently sent back a list of people seconded to him for appointment to head the National Planning Authority (NPA) because there was no scientist among those that would replace the retiring Dr Kisamba Mugerwa.
Mr Museveni, who also said Uganda has the potential to be one of the most industrialised countries, also ordered the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance to research about the economy of Germany, which survived the financial crunch in Europe because of its active industries.
“The Office of the Prime Minister should research on distribution of jobs in Germany and the Ministry of Finance should also study the economy of Germany. They are now in hi-tech and produce the best machinery,” he said
Finance ministry spokesperson Jim Mugunga said the ministry would act on the President’s directive to recruit more scientists, once the policy guidelines is put in place.
“When the President makes a pronouncement, it is often followed by a policy and guidelines. Since it (directive) has just been made, our ministry will wait for those policies and guidelines,” Mr Mugunga said.
The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told the review meeting that the NRM government in the last financial year achieved some of the targets it had set to hit by the year 2020/2021. Among these is the increment in life expectancy, reduction of maternal and infant mortality.
According to Dr Rugunda, maternal mortality by 2017 reduced from 438 deaths (2011) to 336 deaths of every 100, 000 live births, infant mortality from 56 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births and deaths of children under five years also reduced from 90 to 64 per 1000 live births.
“The NRM government has been registering steady progress and by June 2017, we had started meeting and in fact surpassing some of the milestones set for 2021 in the second National Development Plan. The life expectancy of the people of Uganda has improved significantly. The current life expectance is 63 years up from 55 years in 2011 which is above the NDP-II target of 56 years,” Dr Rugunda said.
The Prime Minister said that, the average FY 2017/18 analysis shows that there was considerable improvement in output/outcome performance against the annual targets that were set by Sectors, Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
At local government
Report. The Ministry of Local Government performance report highlighted a challenge of lack of substantive district heads of department, standing at only 2 per cent, hence inefficiency in service delivery.
Vacancies. Mr Danstan Balaba, the Dean of the Association of Chief Administrative Officers, said only districts with fully filled vacancies for all heads of department are Hoima, Kanungu, Kyenjojo, and Lira.
Tasks. The State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jennifer Namuyangu, said the ministry has during quarterly meetings asked the CAOs to identify human resource gaps so that engagements on recruitment is made with the ministries of Public Service and of Finance.