President Museveni on Tuesday joined hundreds of Ugandans to mourn John Mitala, the former Head of Public Service who he described a true civil servant.
Mitala was honoured a 13-gun salute and laid to rest at Kiwomya Village, Bukulula Sub County in Kalungu District.
President Museveni in his speech delivered by the Minister for Presidency, Ms Milly Babalanda, praised Mitala for his incorruptible long career at the helm of the civil service.
“He has always maintained a high level of integrity and exhibited the highest qualities of a true Civil Servant. He was an advocate of the Code of Ethics in the Civil Service,” President Museveni said in his message.
“Dr Mitala will always be remembered as a distinguished and strict proponent of an orderly Civil Servant in Uganda,” he added.
Ms Deborah Katuramu, the Deputy Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet said Mitala was a strong pillar of wisdom who always advised them to make arguments based on the law to avoid baseless allegations.
“He was very knowledgeable in the labour laws and the general management of the public service. He always loved questioning issues that seemed not go well and in case of an argument, he would base it on the law and the constitution,” she said.
Kalungu East MP, Mr Francis Katabazi, said despite the effort made by Mitala to fight for better pay of the civil servants, the government failed him.
“He served in a government that could not enable him achieve the larger goal of improving the civil service through a better pay,” Mr Katabazi said.
“We have lost a diligent and special person that chose to serve honestly even when the system he served in was not very favorable to enable him shine out. We pray that government has picked a leaf in his work methods and would possibly do something in his honour,” he added.
Ms Liz Mitala and Ms Ruth Mitala described their father as a principled man who cared and loved his family despite the busy schedules.
“He was principled and tough but lived a modest life and cared for his family. He has always divided his time between the family, friends and civil service without falling back on his cardinal goals of service delivery,” Ms Ruth Mitala said.
Dr John Mitala was born in 1948 at Kyagunda village in Bukulula Sub county, Kalungu District to Kezekia Kasule Muwumbya and Ms Maria Nabuuma.
He went to Kako Boys Primary School between 1958 and 1960. He later joined Kako Boys Junior Secondary School where he studied between 1964 and 1969. He joined Lubiri Secondary School and later Sir Samuel Baker Senior Secondary School. In the 1970s, he went to Dar es Salam University graduating with a Degree of Arts in Law Management and Administration.
After University, Mitala returned to Uganda and joined Public Service as an Industrial Relations Officer in the Ministry of Labour, a post he held for seven years. He rose through ranks to Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Commission between 1994 and 1998.
In June 1998, he was appointed the deputy head of Public Service and Secretary for Administrative Reform under the office of the President. In June 2002, he was appointed the head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet, a post he held for 19 years.
In September 2021, President Museveni appointed him as Senior Presidential Advisor on public service issues.