Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has proposed reducing the number of civil servants in a bid to cut costs and improve service delivery, the Daily Monitor reported on Monday.
He had instructed former finance minister Ezra Suruma to analyse the inflated public service wage bill and recommend cost cutting measures.
Many political analysts believed the move would affect millions of Ugandans, as many families relied heavily on financial support from relatives employed in the civil service.
Museveni relayed his plans at a Cabinet meeting in Kyankwanzi on Sunday night. He said the current wage bill was unsustainable.
He was reacting to demands for a salary hike, made at a meeting of permanent secretaries. They claimed their Sh3 million annual salary (about R412 000) was inadequate, as they were responsible for budgets running into trillions of shillings.
Museveni rejected this and said, by reducing the number of civil servants, the government could use the savings to achieve social and economic transformation.
He said he intended keeping a promise that under his leadership, the country would become a middle income country by 2020, although the national planning authority had expressed its reservations about reaching this goal.
In February, Museveni won his fifth term as president in dubious circumstances. He swept to victory with 61% of the vote. Foreign observers covering the elections said the opposition never stood a chance because of Museveni's grip on Uganda and his unlimited access to state resources.
Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye had called for the results to be rejected.
- News 24