Uganda Forum Against Corrupt Entities

Fight corruption in your community

The lack of transparency in public service recruitment process that fuels tribalism perceptions, tribal animosity and misinformation in Uganda

Many Ugandans falsely believe that public service is full of banyankole and people from Western Uganda. There is a growing believe amongst Ugandans that unless you are sufficiently connected and come from certain tribes you can get employment in public service. The cause of this dangerous misinformation is that public agencies have created a perception that they recruit staff on the basis of their tribe and language. As a result many Ugandans believe that to be hired by Government agencies in Uganda you must be from Western Uganda and that you must have a God father influencing the hiring decision on your behalf.

Whereas it is true that hiring decisions in Uganda are usually compromised by corruption, tribalism, nepotism, gender based discrimination against both men and women and favoritism, it is not true that these vices are unique to only banyankole and westerners. Corruption and tribalistic tendencies in Uganda are not unique to any one tribe because most Ugandans regardless of tend to favor their friends, relatives and tribesmen. When a Ugandan of a particular tribe has the power to influence hiring decisions, the particular institution that he or she controls will have a disproportionate number of tribesmen, family and friends.

Regardless of the prevalence of corruption and tribalistic tendencies in Uganda, public service is not dominated by banyankole and westerners. To the contrary, President Tibihaburwa had tried to diversify his appointments leading to a diversification of the management of public agencies. It is true that there is often a perception of the presence of a disproportionate number of westerners in public service but this is a false perception created by lack of transparency in public service recruitment process. In most instances public agencies make public disclosure of the shortlisted candidates but they fail to disclose the list of successfull candidates. Even where public agencies disclose the list of successfull candidates, they fail to disclose their tribes. Due to the similarities in the names of Westerners, many Ugandans will assume that all Westerners on the list are banyankole yet they are not or they might assume that they the successful candidates with names from Western Uganda are from the various tribes in Western Uganda yet they are only from one.

The lack of transparency has led to the demonization of public agencies that are in fact diverse as being tribalistic yet they are not. If the public agencies acted in a more transparent way, they would disclose diversity statistics and assure the public of the true facts instead of letting the false and dangerous perception of tribalism gain traction in the mind of Ugandans. As the perception of tribalism and favoritism increases, it creates dangerous divisions between Ugandans on tribal lines and one day could escalate to genocide or tribal civil war or secessionist tendencies.

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