A huge section of staff at Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has lambasted the Permanent Secretary of Energy Ministry Irene Bateebe for selectively, secretly and discriminatively choosing a small group of workers to join public service under Ministry of Energy.
The protest comes after the PS informed all staff in August that their contracts with REA will be terminated next month on 19th as per the cabinet decision to merge most of its agencies.
Subsequently, Ms Bateebe issued a memo on 29th December inviting a section of REA staff to fill Public Service Commission PSC forms to enable onward submission for assessment of suitability of appointment in the mainstream public service on the recommended positions.
She further attached names of those who had been chosen from REA to join the ministry.
However, Bateebe has come under scrutiny after the a list of staff she selected to apply for the jobs leaked.
On her list, it has emerged that junior staff, less qualified and relatives were given higher positions as opposed to what they held at REA.
Against that backdrop, the marginalized workers have penned and signed a letter to PS Bateebe denouncing the process because they believe it’s not only a sham but also promotes nepotism and corruption.
“We have noted with great concern that the process of recommending a section of staff for appointment in the mainstream Public Service is biased, unfair, discriminatory and lacked transparency,” reads a part of the petition to Bateebe.
The aggrieved staff further contend that the whole process was done shrouded in secrecy which resulted into favoritism of some staff and victimization of others.
“The Job Descriptions for positions were developed with a bias to favor some existing staff of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development particularly for the most senior positions (level of principal level and above) while edging out some staff from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The criteria for selection of staff was not disclosed to members of staff.”
They say the recommendation of a section of REA staff for suitability of appointment did not take into account the position previously held and their experience.
For example, majority of staff considered have been placed in lower positions and yet they occupied higher positions at REA. This has been done despite the approved structure having higher positions for the REA staff. This raises many questions as to the credibility of the selection process.
The staff who have been left out possess adequate qualifications and many years of experience in their respective areas of expertise
“We have not been given information and or explanation as why a section of staff was left out and why they did not allow all affected REA staff to compete for created positions if interested which breaches Regulation No. 12(2a) of the Electricity (Establishment and Management of the Rural Electrification Fund).”
They added that, “we are therefore astonished that only a section of staff is being recommended for appointment and majority of eligible staff have been left behind despite the approved structure having many positions created as a result mainstreaming of REA. It is our appeal that all staff from REA should be given priority to occupy the created positions. We request that for fairness and transparency, the whole process for recommendation of staff for all positions in the approved structure should be reviewed and done by an Independent Committee before the appointment of staff. This appeal is submitted for your urgent consideration and action.”
When contacted to respond to the above allegations, PS Bateebe said , “the process has been fair in line with the public service guidelines.”
However, documents obtained by this website detailing the criteria of absorbing REA staff into the mainstream Ministry show otherwise.
We established the the selection violated the recommendation made by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service Catherine Birakwate on the approved structure of the mainstreamed Rural Electrification Department.
TrumpetNews will publish names of staff of REA who have been offered fat jobs in Energy Ministry.