More than 5,500 so-called ghost workers have been purged from Uganda’s civil service as the country attempts to crack down on a culture of corruption.

President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly been looking to slash a bloated wage bill and also promised to tackle rampant corruption in the country after being re-elected for a fifth term in May.

Uganda ranks 139th out of 168 countries in Transparency International’s corruption index.

Minister for public service Maruli Mukasa told AFP yesterday that 5,586 names were removed from the payroll, made of 308,393 government employees.

“We are submitting a list of suspected fraudulent cases to police and the inspector general of government for further investigations and possible prosecution,” he said.

He stated that Museveni had ordered biometric data be used to validate employees in future.

The president has called for a “clean payroll, lean public service and an effective one, and that’s why these efforts are being taken”, he said.

A similar audit in 2014 saw 8,299 non-existent workers deleted from the payroll.