On Tuesday, 12 December 2017, the Ministry of Public Service celebrated the Cultural day 2017, End of Year and Christmas Party. The celebrations were held at the Ministry Head Quarters’ gardens in Wandegeya and were graced by all the staff of the Ministry and dignitaries from National Service Commissions. Among the dignitaries was the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Hon. Justice Ralph Ochan.
The theme of the Cultural day was, "My Culture, My Career".
The staff were entertained by a cultural troupe and treated to a Christmas Carols session by the choir from Teresa House.
In her remarks, the PS, Mrs Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire welcomed all the members of Staff and thanked them for their contributions during the calendar year 2017. She said that the function was an opportunity for the staff to reflect on who the staff are as Ugandans, it having been the Cultural day.
Musingwiire highlighted the achievements of the Ministry in the year 2017 and these, among others, included the following:
The PS also noted that there were plans for the next year and they included:
She welcomed the new members of staff and congratulated those that had been promoted as well as those that had been confirmed in the service.
She reiterated that as the Ministry moves towards the Transformation of the Public Service, there was need to double efforts, to work selflessly and with commitment to accomplish the Ministry’s targets. The Ministry staff should assume the team leader role rather than team players in their respective functions and assignments.
On his part, the State Minister for Public Service, Hon. David Karuhanga registered appreciation from the Ministry’s political leadership to the entire Ministry staff for the hard work that had been exhibited in the year 2017 and stated that the day was meant to recognise the hard work and for staff to mix and socialise freely.
He underscored the importance of culture as it gives the direction of the organisation noting that cultural day is a day to reflect on the values of the organisation. Hon Karubanga emphasised that culture affects performance and that organisations with strong cultures have higher levels of performance and in turn achieve their objectives.
The State Minister implored the civil servants to remind themselves of the Charter for the Public Service in Africa which was adopted by the Third Biennial Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service in Windhoek, Namibia in 2001. Uganda has achieved many of the objectives of the charter and is on the track to further improvement.
He wished all the members of staff a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
On the theme of the Cultural Day, “My Culture, My Career”, the Ministry invited a guest speaker who was Mr. Sam Bwalya, the Executive Director of the Institute of Work Culture and Ethics. Mr. Bwalya is a Certified Public Accountant and a Lawyer holding a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University and a Master of Social Sciences. He has vast experience in guiding individuals and organisation in self-improvement.
In his key note address, Sam alluded to the fact that there is a link between culture and performance. He noted that different cultures emphasize different things but there are a number of similarities across the cultures and this is what is known as the ‘Ubuntu Philosophy’. This unbuntu philosophy rides on the adage ‘I cannot succeed alone without my neighbour’ and ‘No man is an island’ implying that we all need one another.
He noted that all cultures emphasize relationships, harmony, obedience, respect and reconciliation. There are five values that are encompassed in all our cultures i.e.
Mr. Bwaya emphasized that mentoring is a cultural aspect where one is encouraged to carry on with a responsibility as is envisaged in the last funeral rites among the ganda culture as they do ‘okusumika’. He reiterated the need for inter-dependence so as to be creative and innovative and to value time to avoid the ‘unforgiving minute’.
“We can excel in our careers and there is a formula i.e. Self-awareness + alignment X mastery”.