Members of Parliament have decried the slow process of incorporating the Ministry of Science, Innovation and technology staff who lost their jobs when the entity was disbanded.
The MPs on the Committee on Science and Technology chaired by Hon Xavier Kyooma were on March 3, meeting the Minister of State for Public Service, Hon Mary Grace Mugasa over the fate of the 130 technical staff of the disbanded ministry.
The ministry was created in 2016 to focus on mineral research, space science and climate science among others but was disbanded in August 2021 for failure to meet its intended mandate.
However, while appearing before the committee, members tasked the minister to explain why the matter of the staff who are currently jobless had not yet been resolved.
Otuke County MP, Hon Paul Omara demanded to know what the ministry had done to resolve the matter. He said that the staff who were made redundant because of the disbandment of the ministry had gone for over six months without pay with many anxious because they do not know where they are headed to.
“You should take over the due process of what the next step should be; do it with a human face and for those who you can integrate do it and for those that you cannot accommodate, give them a decent package,” Omara said.
In her response, Mugasa said that the only options they have is to recruit some of the staff and retire others with their benefits. She said they did not participate in the process of disbanding the ministry but simply got a directive.
Mugasa noted that the termination of staff will only come as a last resort.
“All efforts are underway to ensure that the former staff of the Ministry of Science and Technology are a matter of priority retained or redeployed to existing vacancies where their competencies are relevant,” she said.
Tony Awany, the Nwoya County MP said the staff should be considered for posting to the Ministries of Agriculture and Water which he said are science based.