Over 2,300 people have applied for the 21 cadet assistant superintendent of prisons positions available in Uganda Prisons.
One of the applicants is 28-year-old Mr Hannington Humura, who completed his university education in 2005 but is yet to get a job. He has slims hopes of getting a job even though he sat for the interview because he feels jobs are taken by those who are ‘connected’.
“A person is recruited through unclear procedures but is expected to deliver. When the same person is challenged with responsibility because of low qualification, he is frustrated and corrupted by anything. That is why we have always complained of poor services. The people who occupy these offices don’t qualify,” Humura said in an interview.
According to Uganda Prisons publicist Mr Frank Mbaine, of the 2,300 candidates who applied, 1,056 were short-listed and only 21 positions are needed to occupy different positions in the Prison service department country wide. “We are recruiting few staff yet we need many as a department because there is still the recruitment ban on all government institutions. But replacements are allowed. We are actually doing more of replacing those who retired or died than a fully pledged recruitment to expand the department,” Mr Mbaine said.
“Traditionally, we never used to put anything in papers to show that we are advertising. Prisons service wasn’t a public consumption. The department was dominated by people who didn’t go any far in education. But now all the security forces are being headed by the university graduates which shows the trend of events.”
Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija said that serving in prisons is a job which used to be shunned, but offers a great chance to build a career. “Where I come from, if you joined prison, you would be looked at as a failure but I was among the first graduates to join prison service in 1986 when no one was interested. We have tried to professionalise the career,” Dr Byabashaija said on phone.