A section of members of parliament have criticized the government for failing to implement the merger of government departments and agencies.
During the plenary session on Thursday presided over by speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga, the MPs argued that the slow pace of implementing the exercise has left donors, staff and the public anxious.
A year ago, government announced plans to merge or return departments and agencies to their parent ministries. The plan, approved in September 2018 during a cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni was part of a reorganization aimed at realigning functions of agencies and preventing duplication of roles and waste of public funds.
Kiboga East MP Keefa Kiwanuka raised a matter of national importance questioning the progress on the matter. Kiwanuka said that the minister of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Frank Tumwebaze said the merger would see Uganda save about Shs 1 trillion in salary and wages, a move that was welcomed by the public as a way of avoiding duplication and cutting down on waste.
He demanded that government briefs parliament about the timeline for the planned merger. Kadaga tasked the first deputy prime minister, Moses Ali to give a briefing, saying that the matter continues to cause anxiety and pointed out that some of the proposals for mergers were strange.
In response, Ali acknowledged that although the government had committed to carry out the mergers, there were some legal complications detected along the way which saw the executive seek the advice of the attorney general on the matter.
Kadaga rejected Gen Ali’s presentation, wondering how all the conflicting Acts will be annulled yet the same executive has failed to process some of the Bills they promise. She tasked the prime minister to update the country on how far the Executive has gone with mergers.
Kadaga was supported by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth saying that the matter needed thorough study before implementation.