#6bnhandshake Mentality Countrywide

How different are the chief executive officers (CEOs) of not-for-profit charity, advocacy or development organisations (the so called civil society organisations (CSOs)) from those who partook of the 6bn handshake?

On the surface, many, including those working with CSOs, will emphatically respond that there is a big difference. But a closer look by others may reveal that in some ways and in some cases there is no difference. We, in Uganda, are seemingly okay with the 6bn-handshake-mentality. We practise it regularly without noticing it.

There have been times, for example, when CEOs of CSOs have functioned as independent consultants, who have taken on consultancy jobs. Such CEOs would be different from the 6bn-handshakers if when they did consultancy jobs they:

  • Officially declared the consultancies as part of the work that they did using the time that is paid for by their respective CSO. In which case the consultancy fees are also declared as part of the income of the CSO, which the organisation uses to cover the salary of the CEO.
  • Alternatively, the CEO may declare that they used particular days for doing a ‘private’ consultancy job, therefore did not do CSO work during that time and therefore for those days they worked on the consult they do not get paid by the CSO for which they are an employee.

But, if such CEOs take the consultancy fees and pocket them and then also get their monthly salary as usual, then there is really no difference between them and the 6bn-handshakers. It would mean that they got double paid.

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