KIGALI - The Minister of Labour and Public Service, Anastase Murekezi, yesterday played down concerns raised by members of the lower chamber of Parliament, on the lack of policies on salary structures in government institutions, saying the issue was in the process of being solved.
Murekezi was speaking exclusively to The New Times in the wake of a parliamentary review on Wednesday, of a report on the Public Service Commission.
“They have a point, because before, there was no policy paper but we are preparing a comprehensive policy and we are very sure it will be ready by March 2011,” he said.
Murekezi explained that there were clear guidelines that stipulate how each category of civil servants will be remunerated.
The minister downplayed the issue raised by the lawmakers on the salary imbalance within government institutions saying it was not confined to Rwanda.
“It is true, imbalances are there, but where in this world will you find people who earn the same? For us, what we remunerate is productivity. Each level has its salary and operation structures depending on what you do,” he explained.
He, however, admitted that his ministry was revising the 2006 general salary structure and said Rwandan civil servants should count themselves lucky to be paid in time unlike other African civil servants who sometimes struggle to get paid.
When asked about the injustices that result from civil service job interviews, Murekezi said that all government positions, except political appointments, are competitive.
“The grievances may be there, but we all know that you need to score at least 70 percent before you are considered for a government job. I advise those who feel cheated to report to the Public Service Commission, I will be happy to get involved in finding a solution to such issues,” he said
Murekezi also addressed the issue of sexual harassment in government institutions, which the MPs say is usually concealed saying that he had not received any complaints or statistics concerning the vice.
However, he advised the victims to come out and report the harassment since the government could only do something about it if the silence was broken.
Murekezi is soon expected to appear before Parliament to give an official response to all the issues raised.