Mukono District Chairman, Dr. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa (right) as he addressed the council on Friday.

Failure to Institute District Service Commission Leaves Mukono District Leadership Divided

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By The Insight Post Uganda

For the past two years, Mukono district has been operating without a District Service Commission (DSC), a crucial body responsible for appointing and promoting civil servants. The DSC’s cause of absence is a minor disagreement between the district chairperson, Rev. Dr. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa and the Ministry of Public Service.

District Councillors making verbal exchange during the council session on Friday.

Despite repeated efforts by the ministry and concerned citizens, the top leaders of Mukono district have refused to budge, leaving residents and civil servants in a state of uncertainty.

The DSC is appointed under the Public Service Commission Act, which provides for the establishment and functions of the DSC. It is an important body tasked with the responsibility of making appointments, promotions, and transfers of civil servants within the district, and for advising the Public Service Commission on matters related to the management of personnel in the district.

The Act also outlines the composition and qualifications of members of the DSC, as well as the procedures for their appointment and removal.

Mukono, like many other districts in Uganda, has been grappling with the challenge of an absent DSC for the past two years. Despite numerous appeals by the residents and the Ministry of Public Service and other stakeholders, the district leadership has failed to resolve the issue.

However, the absence of a DSC has had a profound impact on the functioning of the district’s public services. Without an independent body responsible for making appointments, civil servants are left at the mercy of local leaders who may appoint or promote individuals based on factors other than merit.

Furthermore, important institutions in the district such as the main hospital and schools have been impacted. This has resulted in pending promotions, unresolved cases of civil servants who were interdicted and never returned to work, and some civil servants who have passed away without their issues being addressed.

Equally, the lack of a functioning DSC has made it difficult for these individuals to have their cases heard and resolved. This can lead to inefficiencies, corruption, and an erosion of public trust in the civil service. Additionally, the lack of opportunities for career progression can lead to de-motivation and poor performance, ultimately affecting the quality of services delivered to citizens.

Despite the challenges posed by the absence of a DSC, the top leaders of Mukono district have shown little interest in resolving the issue. Dr. Bakaluba, the LC5 chairperson and Elizabeth Namanda, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) have been holding back the formation of the commission, citing minor disagreements with the Ministry of Public Service. This has led to frustration among civil servants and concerned citizens who see the formation of a DSC as a crucial step in ensuring a transparent and merit-based civil service.

Elizabeth Namanda, the Mukono District Chief Administrative Officer.

In response to the on-going public demand for the formation of the commission, Stephen Musoke Gganzi, the councilor representing Namataba town council suggested that Mukono district leadership seeks assistance from neighbouring district service commissions to recruit civil servants temporarily while they work on establishing its own.

Simply, Musoke explains, the district would request the Ministry of Public Service to select a DSC from Buikwe, Kayunga, Buvuma, and Wakiso districts to assist in the recruitment process for Mukono if this proposal is accepted.

On the other hand, Samuel Odongo, who is the Secretary for Finance and Planning and also serves as the councilor representing Nama sub county town council, requested Elizabeth Namanda, the CAO, to provide guidance on the matter that they had received from the Ministry of Public Service, Local Government, and the Solicitor General.

Odongo reminded the council that the district chairperson, Bakaluba had promised to provide guidance from the minister, but had failed to do so, which resulted in the delay of the council’s pronouncement on the formation of the DSC.

“I urge the council to take into account the guidance that has been given to the district chairperson and the council on this matter to avoid any unnecessary delays and potential penalties,” he says, noting that the lack of a functioning DSC has already had a negative impact on the service delivery of the district for the past year, and it is crucial that we work towards resolving this issue as soon as possible to avoid further setbacks,” Odongo sought.

Samuel Odongo, the Secretary for Finance showing his discontentment during the council session on Friday.

Betty Hope Nakasi, the Speaker of the council, was compelled to adjourn the session on Friday when the district chairperson and the CAO failed to provide the council with the necessary guidance from the Ministry of Public Service, Local Government, and the Solicitor General’s office.

As a result, the council was unable to make any progress on the matter of forming the DSC, which has been a pressing issue for the district for the past two years.


The Insight Post-Ug has established that the proposal to seek assistance from neighbouring districts for the recruitment of civil servants has been presented for the second time after being previously rejected in April 2022.

The earlier rejection was based on concerns about the potential waste of resources and fears that some people could be left out of the recruitment process.

Still, the district council has been struggling to establish its own service commission due to internal conflicts.

In May of last year, there was a disagreement between the district speaker, Betty Nakasi and Rev. Bakaluba over the appointment of the DSC chairperson. This disagreement arose after the chairperson submitted the name of Dr. Godfrey Kibuuka Kisuule for approval as the DSC chairperson to replace Stella Margret Kiondo.

The chairperson claimed to have received complaints from residents about Kiondo’s integrity, despite her having been selected by the urban councils as their representative.

However, the Speaker (Nakasi) proposed that Kiondo be given a chance to serve as the chairperson, arguing that the complaints against her had not been thoroughly investigated to prove her guilty.

Rev. Bakaluba, however, rejected the proposal, stating that there was no need to waste time on people with questionable reputations when there are several individuals with integrity in the district.

In February of this year, the Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi, directed Rev. Bakaluba to establish a District Service Commission as per the guidelines provided by the Public Service Commission or face sanctions.

On January 19, 2023, the PSC Chairperson, Winnie Agnes Kabogoza Musoke, wrote to Rev. Bakaluba and the Mukono district council, instructing them to follow the proper procedures for constituting the DSC in order to avoid costly legal battles for the government.

After Mukono district council approved and submitted the names of four nominees to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval, excluding Stella Margret Kiondo, in May of last year, the urban council authorities refused to send a new nominee.

The district executive then nominated Sarah Katumba, a retired midwife, to represent them, and her name was approved by the district council in December last year.

However, the PSC considers the district executive’s action of nominating Katumba to be illegal, as it goes against the provisions of section 54 (2c) of the Local Government Act and the guidance of the Solicitor General.

The PSC states that the solicitor general had previously instructed the local council on July 6, 2017, that the nomination of urban authority representatives was the sole responsibility of the executive committees of the urban councils.

“The PSC stated in the letter to Bakaluba that the urban authorities had conducted the exercise correctly by sending the name of Stella Margret Kiondo, and the role of the district executive was simply to present it before the district council for consideration.

The commission noted that the submissions for the approval of Dr. Kissule and Sarah Katumba as representatives for urban authorities were not considered until the leadership of Mukono adhered to the law.

Magyezi faults Bakaluba and his council for failure to constitute a functional district service commission, saying it is a de-service to the people of Mukono, which the ministry will not tolerate.

Mukono Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mike Ssegawa, is urging the Local Government Ministry and the PSC to intervene and find a lasting solution to the ongoing conflict.

He further notes that the district has been without a service commission for almost two years, resulting in inadequate staff in several departments. In the previous financial year, the district returned Ugx1.2 billion allocated for staff recruitment to the consolidated funds due to the lack of a service commission.

Additionally, in February of this year, a resident of Mukono District named Samuel Busulwa filed a lawsuit against the PSC for rejecting the appointment of two individuals as members of the District Service Commission.

Busulwa, represented by his lawyer Kenneth Nsubuga, filed a petition at the High Court in Mukono, seeking an order to nullify the Public Service Commission’s decision to reject Godfrey Kibuuka Kisuule and Sarah Katumba as chairperson and member, respectively. However, the hearing of the case is pending.

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