The Government of Uganda is in a process of merging various Tourism departments and agencies. This has been an on-going development for the longest time now.
Different agencies under the Tourism and wildlife sector shall be wrapped into expert departments and placed under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities.
According to the State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, under this new design, the government will be saving a lot of money and promises, Government will provide a plan for transition and will hold different workshops and training to prepare the affected staff for the changes.
These changes are not only affecting the Tourism and Wildlife sector. According to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister, Judith Nabakooba, many other mainstream Government ministries, departments and agencies will be subjected to similar changes, in a move that will see the Government save up to Shs988 billion (US$269.5 million).
The affected agencies under the Tourism and wildlife sector include; the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT), Uganda Tourist Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), and Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. In this new development, all of the above shall be buckled into specialized departments under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities.
The merger plans were first floated in 2001, suggesting the merging of different Government agencies and scrapping many others, something that has kept the affected staff on the edge all this time.
The reorganization process will follow a roadmap to be implemented in three years with an aim of improving service delivery, increasing efficiency and saving taxpayers money, according to Nabakooba.
In August, 2019, the then Minister of Public Service, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa, was quoted to have been against the decision to merge Government agencies, arguing that many of these were established by Acts of Parliament and to scrap them, one needed to go back to Parliament and have the laws repealed. He added that some have accumulated debt, so you cannot just scrap them.
According to Minister Nabakooba, the implementation roadmap will include formation of an inter-ministerial committee to handle the reorganization process as well as giving orders against the creation of new agencies, authorities and commissions.
Apparently, the government will also give a plan for transition and will hold workshops to prepare staff for the changes. There will also be a review for Job with an aim of retaining some and scrapping others.
“The structures will be revised, and the compensation of personnel being off boarded will be undertaken,” said Nabakooba in a statement. “The salary structures for agencies will be coordinated and observed into public service in accordance with the approved pay targets.”
In 2018, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) revamped literally the entire staff, only for the government to come up with the merger of agencies announcement shortly thereafter, and now the fate of the new staff remains in suspension depending on who is to be believed.
Many other sectors have not been spared by these developments, including; water and environment agencies, the accountability sector, trade and Investment, roads and transport, agriculture, and more.
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