Government warns public servants on amending their age

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The government through the Public Service ministry has warned public servants applying to change their age to stop it, insisting that such applications will not be accepted. The warning follows an influx of public officials applying to change their dates of birth for unknown reasons.

The Public Service ministry permanent secretary, Ms Catherine Musingwire, in a letter dated February 6, revealed that her ministry had received numerous requests from public servants who want to change their dates of birth.

The letter was addressed to all permanent secretaries, chief administrative officers, town clerks and copied to the Office of the President, Cabinet secretary and head of Public Service, Mr John Mitala.

“The ministry of Public Service has of recent received many requests from public officers for change of their dates of birth. The requests follow the biometric verification of public officers and matching of their data with the national identification registrar,” the letter reads in part.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that the ministry will uphold the dates of birth declared upon appointment,” the letter warns.

In 2013, Parliament rejected a plan mooted by a section of MPs who wanted to raise the retirement age for public officers to 75 years.

The plan prompted fears from the Opposition that its architects led by former Bufumbira East MP, Mr Eddie Kwizera harbour a “sinister” agenda to perpetuate President Museveni’s grip on power.

The plan also came under attack from civil society activists who, at the time, accused its backers of contemplating treason. Mr Kwizera, a former State House employee wanted to table a private member’s Bill or a motion to amend the 1995 Constitution to raise the retirement age from 60 years.

Last year, The Observer reported that deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma had sworn an affidavit to amend his age reflecting that he is four years younger than his current officially known age.

Kavuma’s case
Justice Kavuma was born on September 29, 1948, meaning he is supposed to retire September 29 this year after turning 70, the mandatory retirement age. The judiciary later insisted that Justice Kavuma’s name was in December last year forwarded to the JSC in preparation for his successor.

Ethics minister Fr Simon Lokodo said attempts by public officers to change their age in order to stay in public service longer defeats logic and asked them to drop the idea.

“It is irresponsible for a public servant to turn around trying to amend age to stay in service longer,” Fr Lokodo said.

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