OK, I am not even sure that, that is correct English but I can’t find the right words to describe the practice I am about to tell you about
It is Sunday and I am in a car with friends out here in Uganda and we are headed to a party. I can’t remember how but the conversation soon turns to getting a job in government departments, Institutions and Agencies.
So what was special about this conversation? As someone that wants to return to a country that has not been home for at least 22 years one of the ways I can help myself is learn how society is organised here, how are things done, who are the decisions makers and how do I reach them and the best way to do this I reckon is to listen to conversations between people that live here.
In this particular conversation I learned that Civil Service jobs, are advertised in the normal channels and suitable candidates are shortlisted for interviews and at this stage every thing is as it should be. There are normally 3 stages to the interview and this where it gets complicated and if you are not in the know, forget it. Apparently getting through the first and second stages can be straight forward if you know your stuff but getting to the third stage is not about what you know but more so who know that will tell you about paying at least 2/3 of the interview panel and the amount can be as much as 1M Ugandan shillings (£287.00)
Only 2/3 of the panelists are paid to ensure that they “wave” you through against the other 1/3 a sort 2 voting against 1 if the panel is made of only 3 members
At stage of the conversation I am utterly confused, as someone in our company goes on to say that she knows a woman who was warned about this but didn’t heed the advise given and lived to regret it. I had to ask what seemed like a daft question- IF SOMEONE CAN GET HOLD OF 1MILLION SHILLINGS TO BUY A JOB, WHY DO THEY NEED A JOB IN THE FIRST INSTANCE AND HOW DO THEY GET HOLD OF THAT SORT OF MONEY?
In my mind a Million Ugandan shillings is a lot of money as some do not even earn that in a month/year. The answer came very quickly and easily ” if that person gets that position they can make almost that in a week, and we know several people that have done so”
My next question,
WHAT GUARANTEES ARE THERE THAT THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE PAID THE MONEY WILL ENSURE THAT THEY ARE APPOINTED?
WHAT IF THERE IS ONLY ONE VACANCY WITH 3 FINALISTS WHO HAVE ALL PAID TO BE IN THE LAST STAGE OF THE INTERVIEW WHO DOES THE JOB GO TO?
Apparently this works because there are often more than one vacancy to fill. I also learned that those on the interviewing panels only accept the money if they are sure they will get the person in and if not they often return or they risk losing their own positions if found out.
I also learned that they are touts who often wait for unsuspecting applicants at the gates of the interview venues and make money out of them by posing as people that are part of the interviewing panels and lose several shillings out of them.
So there you have you it, to me this amounts to literary BUYING JOB or corruption if you prefer