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Changes to clearance for staff working in shifts

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Works and Transport has offered new guidance for government departments and agencies, private companies and service providers listed as essential.

On Thursday last week, the works ministry started an automatic renewal of the electronic movement permits for essential workers after the expiry of 14 days.

However, this arrangement had not put into consideration the presidential directive of working in shifts. With this directive, organizations; both public and private, were expected to have about 10 percent of staff working in a shift of 14 days.

Going by the directive, staff who had been issued with travel permits in the first phase  were expected to stay home so that another group comes on board.

Bageya Waiswa, the Ministry of Works Permanent secretary, explains that the ministry has observed the oversight and has since instituted a desk to handle this matter. He, however, adds that alternating staff might not apply to all organizations or groups of essential workers.

“Those who must or want to maintain the current staff can do that. Actually, some essential service providers might not have staff to alternate. Their permits will be renewed without any problem. But, in case an organization wants to bring another group of staff on board, it is also possible,” says Waiswa.

He notes that organizations and service providers who want to bring new staff on board will need to submit a new list of staff and corresponding vehicles to the ministry of works.

“Organizations, government or private, which would like to have their staff alternated can submit fresh names of staff whose vehicle needs clearance. Vehicles of these new staff will be approved. But, those who were in the first shift, their permits will be canceled,” says Waiswa.

The Permanent secretary adds that those who are considering alternating their staff will be given a contact person at the ministry. The said focal person will be charged with handling the activation of new staff and deactivating those whose shift has ended.

Last month, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a ban on the movement of cars across the country as a means of curbing the rising cases of COVID-19. The only people who were exempted from the ban are those who were classified as offering essential services like medical workers, security forces, the media, utility services among others.

The ministry of works was given the responsibility of issuing travel permits for people working in areas of Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono. By last week, the Ministry of Works had cleared over 20,000 cars to be on the road.

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