Saturday July 12 2014

Civil servants should emulate soldiers on performance

By Leonard Kakinda

At different times, President Museveni has complained about the inefficiency of civil servants in different departments and has even suggested replacing them with his soldiers.

He has already tried this with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Naads. Here are some of the reasons why President Museveni may prefer to deploy soldiers than civil servants in implementing government programmes:
The army is always result oriented.

When it is given a task, for example to fight insurgency in an area, the soldiers will take it as their mission to solve that problem and attain victory.

When they are given any task, they can easily use that approach to attain victory. This may not be the case with civil servants.

In the army, a directive is always a command. In most cases, when soldiers are given a task to do, it is a command from the boss.

After the performance of a task, the one sent has to report back to the boss with good results. This is generally missing in the execution of duties of most of our civil servants and it makes them perform less.

There are regular promotions in the army. When soldiers perform their duties well, they are often promoted with different ranks, decorated with different stars and are appreciated. These promotions often come with special allowances.

This approach increases their efficiency because they work with the aim of being promoted. This is generally not the case with most civil servants.

Some of them work hard but they are not promoted or given any allowance or recognition yet those who may work less can even earn more! In the end, those who may start by working hard are demoralised and finally become inefficient.

The army is always field oriented. Soldiers are trained to be mainly in the field. Many of our civil servants are trained to be in offices, formulate policies, conduct workshops and seminars.

In other words, they are trained to be more theoretical than practical. On the other hand, much of the work which should transform the lives of Ugandans is more practical than theoretical.

Soldiers can risk their lives for the sake of duty. When they are being trained, they are told it is better to risk your life for the sake of duty than to save it and fail in your duty. So, for them, the execution of duty is a matter of life and death.
Lastly, the army has a sense of patriotism more than any other organisation in Uganda. This sense of patriotism is instilled in them during their training. They are taught to love their country, to sacrifice for it, to serve in difficult times and cause a positive change when they are serving.
So, it is upon to the civil servants to pick some lessons from the way the army performs its duties.

Leonard Kakinda,