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Will 130 employees end in tears like former boss Elioda Tumwesigye after Changes at Science & Tech Ministry?

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About 130 employees at the science, technology and innovations ministry could be on their path out just like their forner minister Dr Elioda Tumwesigye.

Dr Tumwesigye lost his Sheema Municipality parliamentary seat to controversial former URA commissioner Dicksons Kateshumbwa in the January 2021 election.

Months later, President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni declined to reappoint him to cabinet.

Instead, Museveni appointed Dr Monica Musenero the new science minister.

He also moved the docket to the President’s Office.

What this means is that like Dr Tumwesigye, almost 130 employees at the ministry are not certain of employment at the now non-existent docket.

What this means is that the budget for the ministry will now be sent to the President’s Office which also has a permanent secretary in Yunus Kakande.

Days ago, government chief whip Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North) confirmed this move.

So, what happens to the staff at the ministry?

This publication has established that a total of 128 employees at the ministry have permanent contracts.

One of those on contract was permanent secretary David Omara Obong.

Only less than 10 were on contract or still undergoing probation by the time of the disbanding of the ministry.

Weeks ago, as news of the transfer of the ministry to the President’s Office was confirmed, PS Obong reportedly ordered the employees to stay home until they have received communication on what to do next.

So, what options are available?

According to Public Service Standing Orders, a public officer cannot lose his or her job simply because of the removal of the office he or she was holding since it is most times possible to give him or her a hugely similar job for which he or she should keep earning the same salary.

This would mean that officials would be integrated into the ministry of science, technology and innovations even if it is in the president’s office.

But it would be difficult to send all the 130 to the President’s Office.

This means some of the employees might be sent to other ministries and relevant offices of government for deployment.

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