The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Executive Director/ Chief Statistician, Dr Chris Mukiza, has dismissed reports that his contract has run out.
Mukiza said he was appointed to his position on 31st March 2019, and his first five-year term ends on 31st March 2024.
“We are busy with preparations for the national census due later this year,” said Mukiza when contacted on the phone on Friday afternoon, adding that “whoever says UBOS is in disarray because of a vacuum created by the alleged expiry of my contract lacks accurate information.”
Dr Mukiza said the UBOS Board retreat, which ended on Friday, April 20, 2023, generated key decisions aimed at improving the performance of the institution.
He further noted that UBOS will use the Balance Score Card as a tool for managing and measuring the performance of staff, starting with the Executive Director.
This tool will be scaled down to the lowest-ranking members of staff.
“We believe this will upscale our performance at the individual level, but most importantly as an institution,” he emphasised.
It is understood the National Census Council chaired by the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee, of which Mukiza is a member, will meet in the coming weeks to discuss the implementation of national census activities.
The two meetings are expected to inform further preparatory activities ahead of the census enumeration.
Reports indicated that Mukiza’s contract had expired, bringing into question the legality of his continued stay in office.
The reports also alleged that Mukiza had not only refused to vacate office but had tried to lobby the Finance Ministry to renew his contract.
“I have not talked to anyone about the renewal of my contract, which is still running,” said Mukiza, emphasizing that “claims that I met the President with the late Keith Muhakanizi for contract renewal are false.”
“In fact, it is unfortunate that this false news is being spread at a time when we are mourning a fallen technocrat and one of the great economists of our time,” he reiterated.
It is understood, that UBOS has been struggling with infighting among senior officials who are jostling for Mukiza’s job when his contract expires next year.
Available information indicates that several of these errant UBOS staff are known and they are facing disciplinary proceedings to answer allegations on matters of gross misconduct including insubordination, spreading false and malicious information, subversion and sabotage of institutional programs.
Ministry of Finance officials told this news website on Friday that intrigue at UBOS, led by staff who are fighting for top positions, including that of Executive Director, threatened to undermine the national census program.
The national census preparations have since gained traction, with UBOS mapping areas for the counting of people later this year.
In addition, procurement of tablets and computer infrastructure is underway ahead of the enumeration exercise.
“We will not be diverted,” said Mukiza, in response to critics, adding, “We have so far mapped 48% of the enumeration areas in terms of coverage and are working hard to ensure we complete the remaining 52% by the end of June as we draw much closer to the census night.
Mukiza said for the first time in Uganda’s history, UBOS was mapping the whole country using electronic gadgets in the form of digital tablets called Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI), which they also hope to use during the actual Census exercise.
In addition to Census preparations, UBOS is in high gear with 2023/24 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) data collection activities where the team are undertaking trip three of the planned 12. The UNHS is conducted every 3 years.
This survey facilitates the availability of high-quality data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, notably; poverty rate, living conditions and access to social services among other household information necessary for monitoring development progress.
The other important survey is the Uganda Business Inquiry which is now in the advanced stages to ensure that relevant and quality statistics on Business in Uganda can be availed in real time to support planning and investment decisions.
The Executive Director noted that results from the National Livestock Census that was conducted in June/ July 2021 will be published. He assured the public and key stakeholders that the indicators shall be disseminated widely to allow access and use of quality statistics in the livestock sub-sector.
He further said that UBOS in conjunction with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance is to embark on completing data collection in areas that were not covered during the previous Parish Development Model (PDM) data collection exercise.
The data and information collected will inform effective PDM implementation. Dr Mukiza called upon all stakeholders to support data collection exercises in the country.