By Innocent Nahabwe

I see many government workers threatening to strike over pay. The teachers, lecturers, Medical workers, Dam workers at Karuma etc. The wiseminister tells them go and hang.

This was going to happen sooner than later. See, most people in government are not working. They are simply there to steal. The tender guy eats a percentage of the tender, often higher than the value of work delivered , the driver steals fuel and tyres plus misuses the car to ferry passengers to Entebbe in the evening and carry charcoal.

Others simply don’t step the the offices. Total work done a week is less than 2 hours. Everyone who dies is an excuse not to work.

They didn’t care about the little pay because they were stealing everything and not doing much. Now there is little to steal and its biting hard. Those who stole built mansions (which they are staying in ) and put their kids in 3000 USD + schools). This they did, not because of their salaries, but because of the money they stole.

Kololo and Ntinda is full 0f multimillion houses built by people in government, that the PS was earning less than 3M until recently, notwithstanding. Now its tough for everyone but more so for these public servants. The motivation for choosing particular jobs in government has been never about salary but whether the department one is working in has budget or not. I expect more disgruntlements.

The challenge isn’t the lack of money to steal but the mentality these public thieves have developed. Imagine if you are used to free fuel, free car service, free house, bloated allowances on trips, daily bribes often in billions and now you have to wait for 495,000 salary at the end of the month for officers.

The people that have been in civil service for long will find themselves with a crippled mindset. If one is used to processing invoices and getting billions, how will they get comfortable selling and trading or even farming where Return on Investment is often lower than 5% p.a. You will think you can supervise your farm by driving 100k or so fuel every week to the farm yet each banana or liter of milk is 20k and 1800 respectively . How will you manage working on a shoe string budget.

I have actually chosen never to have a civil servant for a business partner. Those guys can’t handle the trenches. Many will cheat you (i have been a victim) because to them, its about njawulo not sweat. They will submit inflated invoices to the business, not work 16 or so hours a day, want long leave and expect too much too soon.

The wise civil servant is one who sobers up now and things hard, uses their office now to create something that us sustainable. The stealing might not last that much longer. Otherwise , nice weekend.